The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Photograph of Sally Ball

Sally Ball

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Faculty 2017, 2019 - 2021

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.

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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, 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.