The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Photograph of Sally Ball

Sally Ball

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Faculty 2017, 2019, 2020

About Sally Ball

Sally Ball is the author of three collections of poems, Hold Sway, Wreck Me and Annus Mirabilis. An associate professor of English at Arizona State University, Ball is also an associate director of Four Way Books. She has been with the press for 23 of its 26 years. She has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CAMAC Centre d’Art, and elsewhere. Her long poem “HOLD” has been made into a large-format artist’s book by the Czech printmaker Jan Vičar (2018) and will be featured at an exhibit at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris in December 2019.

View Conference Sessions with this Faculty

Around the Genre Bend
Sally Ball

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Basha, Old Main
Type: Craft Talk, Presentation
Genre: Experimental, Hybrid, Mixed Genre, Poetry

Don Mee Choi’s Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) is an intense embodiment of some of the most challenging values in contemporary American poetry: she uses archival photographs of the wars in Korea and Vietnam (many taken by her father, a photojournalist and a central figure in the book), her own childhood drawings, Korean words in ideograms, Korean words in transliterated English spellings (to mean what they mean in Korean and/or what their transliterations mean in English), nursery rhymes, librettos with stage directions, advertisements, newsreel voiceovers, and more.


Secrets from Agents and Editors: Here's What to Know in Today's Publishing World
Rosemarie Dombrowski, Sally Ball, Kirby Kim, Kevin Mosby

Friday, February 21, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Carson Ballroom, Old Main
Type: Panel
Genre: Agents, Business of Writing, Editing, Publishing, Submitting

Join literary agent Kirby Kim, founder of rinky dink press and The Revolution (Relaunch), Rosemarie Dombrowski, and Associate Director of Four Way Books, Sally Ball, in a discussion about the intricate dimensions of publishing including acquiring an agent, working with small presses, and what to expect once your manuscript has been selected for publication. Panelists will demystify the submission process, advise on how to best research what types of writing and manuscripts publishers are looking for, and how to submit to local presses or presses with specific genre focuses.


More About Sally Ball

Ball, Sally. "People of New York." Four Way Review, April 15, 2013.

I know you are dying
as always, even you big ones
from Queens, or from Nyack,
and I’m in the habit
of checking the clock,
midnight again. 


---. "Saxifrage: 'A Sort of a Song' for 2013." The Volta, Issue 27, March 2013

William Carlos Williams gave us one of Modernism’s competing ideologies: No ideas but in things. Williams, though, is a poet with plenty of ideas; reading him we come to understand the distance between an ideal and anyone’s attempts to fulfill it. What did Williams mean by his compound injunction, Compose. . . . Invent!, and, given the number of filters between most of us and everything we encounter, can a consideration of Williams now yield any useful thoughts about directness, about the way we engage the world in poems today?


---. "Temple Example.Poets.org, 2018.

The mind doesn’t do what we want it to do.
Mine plays speed Scrabble; it sifts pages and pages
of pictures of shoes. Palmyra goodbye. Temple of Bel not a pun
but a ruin. A ruined ruin, a ruin sent to oblivion
on purpose. 


---. "Visiting the Real Ranch." Slate, July 15, 2008.

Here there are places remarkable
for how no one ever comes—no asphalt, 
no people, no trivia:

only hills, creeks, cattle.

Some irritating prairie dogs protected 
by environmental urgency, 
who are interesting, 
even comic, even as they
wreck the place.


Di Stefano, Dante. "Meet the Press: Dante Di Stefano in Conversation with Martha Rhodes, James Fujinami Moore, Ryan Murphy, and Sally Ball of Four Way Books." Best American Poetry, September 30, 2016. 

MARTHA RHODES: We really began in 1993, with first books in 1995. Brox, Orlowsky and Fremont ceased working for the press early on but have remained treasured friends. And I know that they are hugely proud of Four Way Books and of the time and energy that they contributed to the press. Beth Stahlecker, sadly, passed away in 1991 when the press was but a whisper between us. We published her first book posthumously and established a series in her name, The Stahlecker Series, for first and second books of poetry.