Sarah Rose Nordgren headshot

Sarah Rose Nordgren is a poet, essayist, and teacher. Her most recent book is The Creation Museum (Harbor Editions, 2022), and her previous books include Best Bones (2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother (2017), a finalist for the 2018 Ohioana Book Award, both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poems and essays appear widely in periodicals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review. Nordgren’s first nonfiction book, The Bird Hat Wearer’s Journal, won the 2021 Essay Press Book Prize and is forthcoming in Spring 2024. Read more >>


On Stillness Blackbird

Darwin’s Mother (I, II, III) The Adroit Journal

Material Narrative

On the Fabric of the Body Kenyon Review Online

Book cover image of The Creation Museum by Sarah Rose Nordgren showing a ballet dancer on a stage with light coming from the wings

Harbor Editions, July 2022. (Now Available)

“In The Creation Museum, you can make confetti. In Sarah Rose Nordgren’s dreamy rooms, you can make sense, love, a baby, a poem, a stranger of your former self. Lick your teeth, click your camera. Look closer, Nordgren says. Change your angle, change your mind, change your body, change your species. Be hybrid, be supple, be shameless, be blur. Contain multitudes. There. Feel that hum, that surge? That’s you, becoming. That’s you, finally coming home to yourself.”
Claire Wahmanholm

“Sarah Rose Nordgren is a poet of precision and lush language in whose work dreams and the scientific imagination collide. In The Creation Museum, the history of science “is a list of moments when people changed their minds about the world.” Discoveries made centuries apart build on the curiosities and failures of those who came before, and ideas change minds little by little. In these prose poems, themselves dioramas of thought, beauty both precedes and succeeds brutality. The speaker is a woman who planted early frost before her birth, who becomes a lion, who blesses motherhood unflinching. The Creation Museum is a delight of language and contemplation in which Nordgren tests hypotheses of belief as a scientist of the supple open mind, inviting readers to do the same.”
—Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

“Sarah Rose Nordgren’s The Creation Museum may speak of dioramas behind fiberglass, animal bodies painted and pinned, but make no mistake—these poems are ferociously alive with the desire to be both scientist and the subject of study. They throb and writhe under the light of their own looking, and what a dazzling sight these poems are to behold.”
—Christopher Kondrich


Smart Snow is a collaboration between dance choreographer and media artist Kathleen Kelley and poet Sarah Rose Nordgren. Since meeting at a high school party and recognizing each other as artistic soul-mates, they have been working together formally and informally for over 15 years. Smart Snow gives a name to their lifelong artistic relationship.

Smart Snow creates art that pushes the forms of dance and poetry into new technological territories. As women working at the intersections between art and tech, Kathleen and Sarah Rose are interested in the mirrored relationship between technological and evolutionary processes and the “natural” and the “human” inside of digital spaces.