Sally Van Doren is an American poet and artist. She has published three collections of poetry, Promise (LSU Press 2017), Possessive (2012) and Sex at Noon Taxes (2008) which received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American poets. Her poems have appeared nationally and internationally in literary journals such as: American Letters and Commentary, American Poet, Barrow Street, Boulevard, Cimarron Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, december, Lumina, Margie, The Moth, The New Republic, No Tell Motel, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Pool, River Styx, Southern Review, Southwest Review, Storyscape, 2River, and Verse Daily, and Western Humanities Review. Her poem, “Preposition,” is featured as an animated film in the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Everywhere.
Van Doren’s lyrical art explores the fertile cognitive territory between word and image. Her drawings and poems arise from the same source: over 12,000 notebook pages of illegible handwriting. Her new work employs an expanding personal iconography of calligraphic gestures, letters, geometric forms, design motifs and handprints. Layered upon each other, they engage in a dialogue fundamental to a poet’s relationship with language and an artist’s relationship to line, color and form.
Her ongoing written and visual text, “The Sense Series,” was part of a multi-media performance at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. She has exhibited at the Cornwall Library in CT and a solo show opens at the Longview Art Gallery in St. Louis in June 2021. Her art is featured in the literary magazines december and The 2River View and appears on the cover of her book Promise. Recent work is being shown at Furnace Art on Paper Archive.
A graduate of Princeton University (BA) and University of Missouri-St. Louis (MFA), she has taught creative writing at the 92nd Street Y, Washington University in St. Louis, the St. Louis Public Schools and the St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center. She curated the Sunday Poetry Workshops for the St. Louis Poetry Center and serves on the board of the Five Points Center for the Visual Arts in Torrington, CT.
Photo: Sarah Carmody