Slow Movement, a limited edition journal of love poems with hand stitched covers by Maria Isakove Bennett, was published on 11 May by Coast to Coast to Coast.

Copies of Slow Movement can be ordered from the publisher by email: mariawriterand@gmail.com

Slow movement is a sensuous sequence of love poems expressed through the colours, sounds,
materials, and obsessions of cello making and sailing. The metamorphosis of wood into cello
through the skill of a luthier is explored in intimate detail. Form, touch, connection and love flow
through these poems, whose precise vocabulary and detailed craft reflect both the spatial
imagination behind the creation and care of an object capable of creating music or moving
fluently through water, and the complex process of refinement in finishing, varnishing and
preparing every last surface for the touch of the musician or the embrace of the sea.

Cover designs Slow Movement

‘Life in all its richness: pain, joy, charm, bliss, contentment, longing, loss.’
– Rupert Wickham

Sarah’s debut pamphlet, Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter, was published by Against the Grain Press in 2022.
It was awarded ‘Best Poetry Pamphlet’ in the Saboteur Awards 2022.

Copies of Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter can be ordered from the publisher here or through any UK bookshop.
Stock is also available in person or via mail order from  Topping & Company Ely

‘The clarity, freshness and light touch of this pamphlet are the qualities that lift it out of the hubbub of contemporary poetry, especially when considered alongside Mnatzaganian’s refusal to take short cuts or reach facile conclusions. For not much more than the price of a dodgy pint in a flash London pub, Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter encourages the reader to pause, breathe in its vitality and return to everyday life, newly invigorated. Get hold of a copy for yourself and you’ll see what I mean…’ –  Matthew Stewart http://roguestrands.blogspot.com/

‘A poet with keen senses, warm feelings and a natural lyric gift, Sarah luminously awakens the colours, textures and aromas that have characterized her life. Tracing with care and affection the threads that bind her to her Armenian heritage, she conjures up delicate but richly evocative images of childhood, motherhood and family, always alive to the subtle meanings of food, clothes and custom, as distant worlds and people are recollected with wisdom, grace and insight. Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter is a debut collection of great charm and wide appeal that should find many grateful readers.’ –  Topping & Company Ely

‘This collection includes several loving poems about family, with characters who come alive on the page. Her poems about children leaving home will bring tears to some eyes. And she writes so deliciously about food that she makes me hungry.  I hope her pamphlet will get the attention
it richly deserves.’

– Wendy Cope

Publications - Sarah Mnatzaganian - Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter

Sarah’s poems have appeared in print and online and in numerous anthologies:

Magazines: PN Review, The North, Magma, Poetry Wales, Poetry News, The Rialto, London Grip, Under the Radar, The Frogmore PapersPoetry Ireland Review Fenland Reed, Fenland Poetry Journal, The Journal, Pennine Platform, Atrium, As Above So Below, Snakeskin Poetry, Words from the Wild  and The Lighthouse Poetry.

Anthologies: #MeToo edited by Deborah Alma; Write to be Counted; Iron Press Tree Anthology, Locked Down poetry anthology, Poems in the Waiting Room; Black Light Engine Room Anthology of Light. 

Responses to Sarah’s last reading at the launch of Jonathan Totman’s collection ‘Night Shift’ published by Pindrop Press in January 2021:

Sarah, what a beautiful reading. I love your poems and the way you read them. You write so beautifully about your family, about love and the everyday context of love.

I enjoyed the event very much, Sarah, rather to my surprise as poetry is not my usual mode of communication, I think I work rather differently with words.  But you make very careful and imaginative use of words, as though you savour the taste of them, each one; that you seem to offer a palette or dish of various colours tastes and textures…. I was fascinated!

I have never in all my 95 years been so moved, touched, and impressed by a new young poet. You manage to express completely your understanding and your quite sensual love of the natural world, and of the wood and materials you work with, and not least of your husband. I find it quite incredible to see this beautiful sensitive material emerging from the now busy young woman who I first really knew as a shy teenager.  Thankfully, you have many more years to go than the average butterfly! I look forward to your book being published.

Your poems are very immediate; there is depth and connection all at once too. Word music is uncommon but you have it.

Yours were different from the others, in my definition of embodied poetry that makes the heart sing. I could see Jaffa, smell the lemons and oranges. One of my beloved poets is Neruda and he too makes words sing. I really love this poem.  It sums up so much of what was the lockdown for me.  The calm, and beauty and anxiety and desire for things known and loved, and the strange relationship we have with others who have no connection to us.  It is a small warm reality that I can take home.

I really loved your poetry last night. Thank you for reading it. I enjoyed and appreciated how you spoke it – voice and words melding so well together, thank you. A lovely legato sostenuto delivery (many people can’t read out as well as they write!).