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In this shining debut, identity and community converge in poems for a modern generation. Beginning with the open prairie skies of her youth, Sarah Ens maps an emergence into millennial womanhood, questioning feminine expectations and examining heartache and disembodiment during an age of personal and planetary upheaval. The World Is Mostly Sky looks backwards and inwards to find respite in stars, warm earth, and deep waters while rejoicing in the sacred bonds of sisterhood that offer the courage to meet our uncertain horizon.


Advanced Praise

In The World Is Mostly Sky, Sarah Ens bewitches us with broken robin eggs and belly button rings, silos and steeples, stones and stars. This stunning debut bursts with transfixing hosannas for an eerie coming of age—and with “purple-tongued” benedictions that sing the “in/breaking divine”. Ens’ poems have a contagious and fierce intensity, akin to an intimate conversation between the closest of friends. Her poems haunt. They ricochet. They pierce and shine.

Sandra Ridley, Silvija

Ens’ vibrating debut gnaws inside the dark vat of a prairie girl’s becoming. These poems are thorough, intimate, fiercely sensual processes, “tiny gnathic movements / digesting disaster.” In The World Is Mostly Sky, Ens takes the world by mouth, turning submerged matters into spit-back, unroofed, fully-lit desires. Throw away the old Hitchcock femme fatale script. Ens’ debut is “one true scream.”—Jennifer Still, Comma

These sharp, smart poems are embodied in the truest sense: of and faithful to the body. Whether she’s writing of girlhood or womanhood, of the prairies or the city, Ens’ vivid, forceful language fully engages and challenges her readers.

Rhea Tregebov, Rue des Rosiers

Digital Broadsheets and Video Poems


It is this long poem form that distinguishes this poet's work as her lyric voice soars. "Wuthering: A Comprehensive Field Guide" unfurls as a meditation of the body, its hush, its youthful awakening, its desires... Heritage, God, myth, popular culture, art, and death are all made particular through experience.—Connie Braun, Journal of Mennonite Studies

Careful and probing, this promising debut collection sounds the world and keeps it close. —Lansdowne Prize for Poetry jury comments, Manitoba Book Awards

In The World Is Mostly Sky, Ens gives us rite and sacrament, space to spread wings, expanses to "measure us / immense ("Astronomical"). The world of sky is one that is breathtaking and heartrending.—Frances Boyle, Arc Poetry Magazine

Ens gives us the old world washed new by acute perception, startling imagery, heart-piercing emotion and a dangerous undertow. —McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award jury comments, Manitoba Book Awards

These poems draw heavily on faith and relationships. Female friendship is key—as long and sustaining as prairie roots—and exerts a far more powerful force on the speaker's life than the ex-lovers who also pop up throughout the collection. ... The World Is Mostly Sky is a beautiful debut. —Kerry Ryan, Herizons

The constant motion of body and spirit, in and out of each other, this is the thread throughout this marvellous book.

Patrick Friesen, Heritage Posting

The World Is Mostly Sky is a closely observed exploration of [Ens's] rural Prairie roots, as well as the landscape’s— and the sky’s—changing physical and emotional resonances. —melanie brannagan frederiksen, Prairie Books Now

Ens celebrates both people and prairie, complicated as each are, through her nimble pen and apt understanding of just what each poem needs. —Allie McFarland, The Anti-Languorous Project

The World Is Mostly Sky is a stunning collection full of vibrancy and teeming with tenderness. ...Ens's poetry first soars through childhood nostalgia and anguish, dives through thick waters of heartbreak and longing, and finally crashes up through clouds of young adulthood with ice coffees raised like chalices to the sky. —Delane Just, The River Volta Review of Books

Books: Work

Read "Orbit" from The World Is Mostly Sky

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