About Me

East Bay Poet. / Sara Larsen is a poet and writer living in Oakland, CA. Her newest book is a polyvocal exploration of punk and poetics, The Riot Grrrl Thing (Roof, 2019). Previous books include Merry Hell (Atelos, 2016), and All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). She is also the author of several chapbooks including Our Ladies, Riot Cops En Route To Troy, The Hallucinated, among others.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


 The Riot Grrrl Thing is out from Roof Books. I love this cover by Colter Jacobsen...more info here and here
“To read Riot Grrrl Thing is to participate in what is, and can only be, the Riot Grrrl Thing—a condition of vivacious unlimiting. The brilliant Sara Larsen knows that thing firsthand; I can only know it imaginatively, linguistically, and in awed recognition of its exuberant, and it would seem ancient, power. Sappho did the Riot Grrrl Thing, and she was not the first, nor will Kathleen Hanna or Janis Joplin or Kathy Acker be the last. Every bad-assed magnificent spirit refusing to serve as amusement or servant does the Riot Grrrl Thing as she rambunctiously plies incessant skepticism and supplies wild altruism. Larsen’s book is pissed off, playful, excessive, erudite, and free. Read it and feel the whole of it.”
– Lyn Hejinian

“Sara Larsen’s The Riot Grrrl Thing is a poetic punk text which purrs and shouts with ‘Sappho and her friends’ and sings what is under sung. This book uncovers the power at play in memory—who gets the power to name and the prerogative to remember, and who gets the glory of being remembered. In our present where ‘the soul of the city is gone they have eradicated it with money,’ Larsen relishes being ‘an enemy of the forms of this world.&rsquo' This is poetry that follows Sappho's dictum ‘I say it is what you love.’ The scenes and syntax are tough, rowdy, tender, sexy, and unabashed. The Riot Grrrl Thing powerful and bardic, soaked in memory and dreaming of a different future, asks again and again ‘how do I fight // for my joy.’”
– Alli Warren

“Sara Larsen writes a poetry against numbness, of punk renewal, of keeping grief alive, and outrage. Remember Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, remember Kathy Acker, remember Anaktoria. ‘Bring up light/ in the form/of a sister.’ History is a sister’s weapon and her body, the ‘nasty companion that carries liberation’s spring.’ The Riot Grrrl Thing is a transformation of bullshit to honey, a zinesque lament through which abjection is elevated to capacious multi-love object. Wow. Call this book a positive-negative love charge and sustenance for the future-kairotic events of resistance. Read these Sapphic punk- paratactic get-real beyond realism poems! Take energy, take heart from the revival of this question, ’What does it mean to be a Riot Grrrl?’”
– Carla Harryman

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My full-length book Merry Hell from Atelos Press is out in the world. You can order your copy from Small Press Distribution here!


In MERRY HELL, Helen of Troy exposes the "misogynist spell" of the traditional (patriarchal) narrative that condemns her for the horrors of the Trojan War and insists "LET ME TELL YOU ALL THE TRUTH OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME". As it happened, Helen is neither abducted by nor runs off in love with Paris, but rejects Empire and leaves Sparta of her own volition. Helen's story, a heroine's journey, is interwoven with circumstances surrounding the P├ętroleuse, or women incendiaries, of the 1871 Paris Commune as well as those of Occupy Oakland. As Ezra Pound states, "All eras are contemporaneous in the mind." 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


My new chapbook, Riot Cops en route to Troy, has been released by LRL Textile Series. Hand sewn from, yes, textiles, the LRL Textile Series books are gorgeous. I love this cover too (and hope to add an update with the artist's name!) 
You can find the book here!


Riot Cops en route to Troy is an excerpt from a larger manuscript, Merry Hell. The story of Helen of Troy is viewed as a misogynist spell, where Helen is the scapegoat for the Trojan War...and in Merry Hell, Helen begins to tell her story, one of rejecting and leaving empire by force of her own will. The women of the Paris Commune (the so-called
P├ętroleuse, or incendiaries) and the events of Occupy and the Oakland Commune weave in with Helen's story, defying any linear concept of time - as Ezra Pound said, "All eras are contemporaneous in the mind."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cosmo Spinosa hits the nail on the head in his review of my book, All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014):

The link is HERE

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Sneeze

I'm featured in Lyn Hejinian's "The Sneeze: Oversignification, Protest, Poetry", published in the Oxford University'sContemporary Women’s Writing journal. Check it out a glimpse here

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Early reading of Merry Hell, back in 2012

One of the first readings of an early draft of Merry Hell, recorded in September 2012 at Small Press Traffic:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Materials Merry Hell UK edition

It's so beautifully done, and I especially love the cover!

Thank you to David and Lisa at the press!