My primary motivator for joining Writer’s Catapult was the challenge to improve my writing skills twined with curiosity as I hadn’t written poetry in forevvver. I didn’t think about what I hoped to achieve as I figured the engagement & practice would produce results and I would calculate them as I progressed. OH and for sure — You! Smart & funny & a take-no-prisoners, kinda gal — that’s why I said yes—- for had it been an academic ABC kind of writing class I probably would not have joined.
ODE TO SALLY NAYLOR
Working with Sally has been pure joy and an amazing transformation. Her lessons organically guide and clarify why you want to write and what you need to know to write well. Her approach is supportive and provides just the right amount of constructive criticism for step by step improvements. Her lessons are fun and motivating. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to work with Sally. She is a fantastic teacher. Thank you, Sally, for helping me find my voice through creative writing.
— Romi Tarlamis
Powerful pile-ups of lyrical images mark this notable first book: Firebird. Naylor is a seasoned writer whose life story runs from fiercely elegiac poems for Miami, its electric chaos and alien cacophonies to a profoundly moving elegy for her husband: I crawled into the high narrow bed of your dying and held you followed by a wild gallop of poems of praise of the new which alone are worth the price of admission.
–Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize
Sally, after I embarked on writing a book I realized my writing was dry, factual and lacked flair, character or beauty. The idea of dabbling in poetry intrigued me. I was sure it would teach me how to use language to paint pictures and express deep feelings. I am learning that and so much more. I am learning to write.
I wanted to improve my skills and write more authentic verse. Sally has helped me do that. I truly appreciate what I’ve learned and highly recommend Writers’ Catapult. Sally — I do appreciate your tutelage.
Whether poignant or playful, soulful or satirical, Sally Naylor’s poems in Rogue Nirvana are spiritually spot on. A perfect complement to the text, both offer a sane means with which to negotiate the world with an independent sense of ease or panache.
–Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet
This feverish collection of poems interweaves sexual gymnastics with the poet’s verbal foreplay in such a way that we are tossed in dizzying intoxication from mattress to mattress of her poetic aspirations. Sally Naylor’s poems offer expansive meanings of the wondrous miracle of orgasm through numerous imaginative “sallies,” such as “sonic apostles of fine crystal,” “high riddles,” “green whistles,” “trip wires & trampolines,”— to name just a few definitions you will not find in the dictionary. This is a book where the world of the body and the body of poetry merge. For example, Naylor reveals the method to her madness in the appropriately titled, CURRICULUM VITAE, where “she tosses the confetti of an animated diction/ & peppers it with a school-girl dereliction.” In other pieces we find ourselves “electric, galvanized, kinetic,” amidst the inventions of her language. Hyper-hyphenated teasers include “raven-winged offerings,” ” hill-top yowls” and “god-self darlings.” The sheer seduction of these poems leaves us, in Rumi’s words, ” pulled from one fire—” and “pushed into another.”
–Deborah DeNicola, Associate Editor, SOFLOPOJO
Sally Naylor’s Synapse Flies into Startle: The Orgasm Book is a rap, a hoot, a song; it’s the Fourth of July of love-making in words for flesh and lust. One does not read these poems, one revels in them. Naylor’s free-fall and ramped-up romp in the haymaking of sex, love, not-love, almost love, some love, lovers, losers, orgasm and faked orgasms, scintillates with rhythmic, gyrating lines, and images of hypnotic synaptic firings in the brain and groin. These poems are not for the faint of heart or bashful. Naylor’s honesty is unnerving, without inhibitions, no stop signs. They’ll set your hair, loins and heart on fire.
–Lenny DellaRocca, Founding Editor, SOFLOPOJO
XCELLING IN MS. N’S CLASS: AN ABECEDARIAN
fastidious, whether it be
just a session of meditation,
key vocabulary words or
undoubtedly from the
very depths of her soul, never
your lack of
zeal or zest.
–Ty Levie, grade 8, The Baylor School
Sally Naylor is a poet of both heart and mind, of feeling and intellect. Her poetry creates a world of domestic comforts and small scale natural wonders, meticulously crafted believably inhabited, wonderful to visit. It is a pleasure to welcome Firebird into our midst.
–Campbell McGrath, Mac Arthur “Genius” Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Synapse Flies Into Startle is an honest, uninhibited, brave exploration of those intimate moments when we are most vulnerable, most powerful, most bestial, most human, most alone, most united, most selfish, most generous, most profane, most sacred…told with wit, deep insight, delightful quirkiness, and profound sensitivity. It speaks to our most mysterious and unexplored common denominator. A book to savor!
–Lynda Pinto Torres
I am grateful that you let me audit this class and participate when I could, thank you for helping me understand the world of poetry I am glad to have met you and to have been able to experience a community class atmosphere, even if only for a brief time. Thanks again Sally for all your dedication to teaching this art. Well wishes, stay safe.
— Supriya Padki
& beyond time
but now, always now –
her fox feet dance
when lightning strikes,
the laughter coursing
through to the great earth,
where the heron struts
and her very flesh
becomes a great poem.
She slips under & over
as the breeze
— Linda Flaherty Haltmaier, Poet Laureate, Andover, Massachusetts
Can you believe I’ve written ten poems in the one+ month I’ve been taking your classes? I’m excited about poetry. Thanks so much for guiding me into it.