Recent, Visual Poetry

Sarah J. Sloat: Postcard Collages

Postcards have a rich history. Collecting them is known as deltiology. As opposed to sealed letters, postcards have a “public” aspect to them. Any secrets they have lie exposed to mail carriers, post office workers, and snoopy passersby. Sarah J. Sloat amplifies such “outings.” With beautiful compositions of color and shape, Sloat’s alterations of, and collages upon, these cards celebrate the wonder of minds reaching across space and time towards other minds, into very personal, intimate, but finally unknowable worlds: a peek into a sender’s life or a memory kept by a recipient. The brevity of these messages gives them an urgency; the disjuncture between text and images gives them a mysterious power.

A message has arrived! We lean into the picture and the words, or into the spaces between. How these texts and images intersect we, coming upon the cards from a later time and place, can’t entirely comprehend. But so often the postcards offer a certain pulse, a haunting beat still lingering between people we just missed knowing. A wisdom has been proffered. Perhaps a little love or longing. We sense it but can’t quite name it.

—Nance Van Winckel, Contributing Editor

Sarah J. Sloat is the author of Hotel Almighty, a collection a visual poetry published in 2020 by Sarabande Books. Born in New Jersey, Sarah has lived in Kansas, China, and Italy, and now splits her time between Frankfurt and Barcelona, where she works as a news editor. Her poems, prose, and collages have appeared in The Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Sixth Finch and other journals. You can keep up with her at, on Twitter at @SJSloat and on Instagram at @sjane30.