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Sally Ball

Sally Ball

Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Department of English
Arizona State University
PO Box 871401
Tempe, AZ 85287-1401


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Poet Sally Ball is the author of three books: Hold Sway (forthcoming April 2019), Wreck Me and Annus Mirabilis (all with Barrow Street). She has published essays and reviews in Lithub, NOR, Pleiades, the Review of Contemporary Fiction, The Volta, and elsewhere.

Her long poem HOLD has been made into a limited-edition artist’s book by the Czech printmaker Jan Vičar. The poem itself departs from an idea explored in Roy Scranton’s ecological lament Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, namely that our desire to thrive (from a Norwegian root word that means grasp or—hold—) is intensifying our environmental crisis. The poem ranges over many topics: climate anxiety, corporate doublespeak, international migration, nuclear energy, the (in this context) counter-intuitive beauty of the world. The work has been translated into French, German, and Japanese and exhibited across Europe and in Japan and the US. It will be part of Vičar’s Prix Mario Avati-winning solo show at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Paris in December 2019.

Ball’s poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Boston Review Forum 1, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Scoundrel Time, Tin House, Yale Review, and other magazines, as well as online at The Awl, Narrative and Slate, and they’ve been reprinted in The Best American Poetry, on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and the Academy of American Poets website.

An associate professor of English at Arizona State University, Ball is also an associate director of Four Way Books. She has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CAMAC Centre d’Art, the James Merrill House, the Ucross Foundation, and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and she’s taught in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.


  • MFA, Poetry, Warren Wilson College, 1994
  • BA (cum laude), English (French 2nd major), Williams College, 1990


In Press

Ball, S. Hold Sway. Barrow Street Press. New York, NY.


Ball, S. and J. Vicar. 2018. HOLD. Limited publication (<250 copies), translation into French, German, Japanese. Exhibits in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Spain.


Ball, S. 2013. Wreck Me. Barrow Street Press. New York, NY. ISBN: 978-0981987682.


Ball, S. 2005. Annus Mirabilis. Barrow Street Press. New York, NY.