Testimonials & Kind Words


Sarah’s classes are different from any instructor I’ve ever encountered, packed full of knowledge, insight, and many poets to set the creative mind in motion. She has inspired me to dig deeper into my own writing, embrace and nurture the world we live in. Well-organized, she fosters a positive atmosphere, allowing for the growth of students at different skill levels. I always look forward to classes she may be teaching.

– Ellen Lager

I’ve found myself returning time and again to Sarah’s workshops. Her classes aren’t only places to draft new work, though I do, or to read wonderfully curated texts, though she offers that as well. The real magic comes from the way that she builds community alongside these elements. Signing up to study with Sarah means joining a society of like souls, artists who hold each other’s work with respect and care under her steady guidance.

– Jacquelyn Bengfort

Robert Frost said, I am not a teacher, but an awakener. I have experienced this brand
of transformation as the student of Sarah Ann Winn. She not only chooses the perfect
materials to inspire poetry, but her prompts offer extraordinary challenges. She delves
into many mediums to spark imagination; her knowledge of literature, art, music, and
pop culture enhance the coursework immeasurably. I explored topics that I never would
have approached without her guidance, and her encouragement to go beyond the
ordinary pushed me to stretch and improve. Her feedback, constructive and honest,
enabled me to revise with direction. The amount of time she invested in my work left me
stunned and thankful. Aside from her stellar teaching skills, she is an empathetic person
who truly listens to understand. For anyone who wishes to abandon everyday writing
habits and awaken to new possibilities, I highly recommend seeking Sarah Ann Winn.

– Dana Kinsey

A class with Sarah reawakened my interest in reading and writing poetry. I have since taken four classes and two retreats with her and every time I feel the exciting rush of learning new things, making connections, and watching my writing develop. Sarah’s critiques and guidance have helped me hone my poems and become a better self-editor. She is a gifted “writing guide” who not only creates beautiful poetry but helps draw out the best in her participants. I am so thankful I found her.

– Ariel Boswell

I have taken several of Sarah Winn’s online classes, and in each one I have found her to be an inspiring guide to poetry.  Her teaching method is to use various media to spark creativity, including music, visual art, videos, and even the occasional fascinating podcast. Sarah introduces students to poets with diverse backgrounds and writing styles.  She has an ear for sound and is quick to pick up on the gist of what writers are truly getting at in their poems.  Her prompts and writing exercises are unique and often surprising, and have allowed me to write poems I would never have come up with on my own. She is gentle in her criticism of student work, but will point out where rewriting is needed.  Her feedback has been valuable to me when revising my work. 

– Lisa Kosow

I am glad to be part of Sarah’s poetry family– and to be welcomed as such– and to have found such a wonderful teacher who is both safe and nurturing but also willing to be clear (especially once we know each other) in the service of the poem and what we are capable of if we push just a bit harder.

– Peter Sturtevant

It was a delight to work with Sarah on my manuscript in progress. She provided thoughtful, insightful feedback at the poem, section and book level and provided me with practical advice about naming, poem placement, publication outlets and publishing strategy. Most importantly, she treated my work with kindness and respect, even when giving me tough advice about pieces of the manuscript that were not ready yet or not right for this particular collection.

– Patricia Davis-Muffet

Sarah’s poetry classes are my favorite kind of literary adventure. The content she designs is inspiring, relevant, and diverse – I find myself revisiting writers, podcasts, and music she referenced in a lesson even a year or more after the class. Sarah’s honest responses to my drafts have helped me hone my poetic voice and her affirmations encourage me to try new experiments. In each of her classes Sarah fosters a deep sense of community, so that when the course is over friendships remain. 

– Sarah Clark

Sarah’s classes brought me into so much new writing. She chooses unique themes to teach on, and her selected readings, songs and videos are such a pleasure to discover. Her writing exercises generate poems I would not have reached on my own, and her critique is supportive and enlightening. The community that develops in Sarah’s classes is really special–classmates are encouraging and their work is instructive, too. Don’t miss the chance to study with Sarah!

– Melanie Huston

I’ve taken a ton of online classes and I’ve gotta say I was absolutely dazzled by Sarah’s preparation, and her presentation of things to read and watch and interact with. I’m so appreciative of the obvious time and care she puts into her classes. She’s a mix of smart and caring, and has a lovely way of telling me what isn’t working, what’s mundane, what could be better. That’s what I need to know. 

– Victoria Melekian

Kind words:

Katie Manning featured Ever After the End Matter on her Youtube series, Poetry Rev

Donna Vorreyer reviewed Alma Almanac on Quarterly West

Grace Cavalieri reviewed Alma Almanac for Washington Independent Review of Books

Longshot Books’ blog reviewed Ever After the End Matter

Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay was featured in a chapbook roundup on Ploughshares!

People have said kind things about her poems here and here and here. (Thanks, Luna Luna, Change 7 and Alien Mouth!)

Jennifer Macbain Stevens did an in-depth review of Portage for Horse Less Press, which you can read here.

Portage was featured in the “Give It to Me e-Gain” chapbooks roundup on Cahoodaloodaling.