Forthcoming January 2023
"In The Familiar, Sarah Kain Gutowski takes the fragmentation of self to a whole new level. This fabulist poetic narrative of midlife crisis pits the Ordinary Self against the Extraordinary Self—one attuned to the daily mundanities of housekeeping and motherhood, the other hysterical with ambition and adventure—as warring factions of identity. “We all house within our skin and brains,” Gutowski writes, “another self or two, whole persons devoted to one aspect/ of twenty-first century life.” And it’s not too long before “shit hits the fan.” It’s all here: domestic life, travel, sex, even attempted murder. Both deeply analytical and a wild ride, both elevated in lyric language and peppered with lowbrow quips, The Familiar resists parable and acknowledges the inevitably multifaceted nature of selfhood, what is expected of women, and what women expect of themselves. Fierce. Vulnerable. Entertaining.
— Cynthia Marie Hoffman, author of Exploding Head
Fabulous Beast: Poems
14th annual National Indies Excellence Award for Poetry
2019 Forward INDIES finalist
"Sarah Kain Gutowski's collection Fabulous Beast has stayed with me. The second section in particular, 'The Woman with the Frog Tongue' weaves together a powerful, modern depiction of a woman's psyche and the ageless, slightly ominous feel of a fairy tale: a rare and perfect blend."
"Sarah Kain Gutowski’s talent, her knowledge of language and her ability to weave stories make this collection about the complexity of womanhood, motherhood, and the female artist unique. Inspired by fables, fairy tales, and Norse and Greek myths, Fabulous Beast is written with courage, passion, precision and intelligence. In these fierce poems, Gutowski creates her own universe, filled with stories and tales that explain it to us, her readers. At the center of Gutowski’s poems we find the beast/woman who gives (gives birth, gives sustenance, gives attention, gives her body) to others and the girl who—after being told she talks too much—becomes a silent woman, “The Woman with The Frog Tongue.” This woman may be silent, but the poet describing her expresses grief, rage, sensuality, and love all at once, with candor and impeccable irony. All the poems in this collection deserve our full attention."