Composed during a long stay in Rome, the cantos of Sono look outward in order to look inward, transforming sights and stories into expressionistic explorations of the state of the heart. Playful, probing, philosophical, colourful, often funny, they describe a struggle to come to terms with loss and grief and to find a basis for renewal. Riffing expertly, Sarah Arvio brings wit and exquisite formal discipline to her gorgeous meditations on the life lived. These are high-burning songs of the self ñ colloquial, sexy, unflinching and unforgettable.
In Visits from the Seventh, her wry, uncanny poems take the form of conversations between a woman and a throng of invisible presences, or 'visitors', who counsel, challenge, cajole and comfort her. Together they murmur about destiny, the moon, a walk on Park Avenue, sex, ambition, dreams.
"Arvio deploys insights from philosophy, psychology, and physics, but a constant preoccupation is that language constructs the things it attempts to describe, and in this her clearest forebear is Stevens, to whose 'palm at the end of the mind' she alludes in the first and final poems."
The New Yorker on Sono
"This extraordinary first book of poems takes its place in an authentic line of descent from such landmarks as Yeats's 'A Vision' and James Merrill's 'The Changing Light at Sandover'."
The New Yorker on Visits from the Seventh