Sarah Barnsley’s debut collection The Thoughts is a wondrous and vital book that pushes the boundaries of what a poetry book can do and the subject it takes on – in this case, the mind (said to be medical science’s final frontier) […] The approach taken by Barnsley perfectly fits the subject at hand. The poems come in many forms, from your expected black-on-white lineation to the downright surreal – as a questionnaire, a puzzle, funding proposal, and PhD Viva that draws on Barnsley’s experience as an academic. This makes the subject of intrusive and uncontrollable thoughts all the more direct by putting them in everyday examples […]. This is a superb collection, smattered with humour, that shows a condition many experience but is rarely talked about – one of the many invisible disabilities, and one which Barnsley bravely makes visible. – Peter Raynard on The Thoughts, Everybody’s Reviewing (read full review here)
Sarah Barnsley […] throws both accepted truth and caution to the winds – Thomas Ovans in London Grip on ‘I prefer to get my information from unreliable sources’
I love its colloquial diction, its creative topography that knits together its fragments and its scientists in love, its headlong energy – Meryl Pugh on ‘Newly in love, distracted neuroscientists HEART’
Always crisply original and often painfully funny […] a poet whose voice is as unusual as it is assured – Catherine Smith on The Fire Station
Bold and strange, it sees the potential for a blaze, or other disaster in pretty much everything. [Barnsley is] consistently good at displacing the reader, “rehousing” us in a peculiar landscape. […] Her voice is wry, considered and convincing. – Penny Boxall in Sabotage Reviews on The Fire Station
Sarah Barnsley grew up in the Midlands where her dad was a firefighter. A winner in the Poetry Society Members’ Poems Competition (2021, 2018), her work has appeared widely in magazines including Poetry Wales, The Rialto and The White Review. Other publications include a pamphlet, The Fire Station (Telltale Press, 2015), co-editorship of Truths: A Telltale Press Anthology (2018), and literary criticism. Sarah is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and lives in Hove.