Mother Was a Tragic Girl


Mother Was a Tragic Girl


Sandra Simonds



Sandra Simonds grew up in Los Angeles, California and earned a B.A. in Psychology and Creative Writing at U.C.L.A and an M.F.A. from the University of Montana, where she received a poetry fellowship. In 2010, Simonds received a Ph.D. in Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: The Glass Box (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012) and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009) which was a finalist for numerous prizes including the National Poetry Series. She is also the author of several chapbooks including Used White Wife (Grey Book Press, 2009) and The Humble Travelogues of Mr. Ian Worthington, Written from Land & Sea (Cy Gist, 2006).

“When I look out the window of my Winnebago I want to see a Sandra Simonds poem on the billboard before I crash. Bless her cranky pornboots.” –Cathy Wagner

“What does it mean to be a used white wife, a mother, a tragic girl writing poems? Sandra Simonds gets into these messy words and then tears them apart. Sometimes with the words of others. And sometimes with poems made from scratch. They aren’t all bad, these words. But they aren’t all good either. And that is where Mother was a Tragic Girl gets its power. You will at moments be laughing but then you will also at moments just as much be crying. If Antigone was alive and decided to write some poems about the nuclear family, she would write them like Sandra Simonds. These are tough.” –Juliana Spahr

More Information:

Sandra Simonds Website

Poetry Foundation

Barn Owl Review

Everyday Genius

Hayden’s Ferry Review



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center





Mother Was a Tragic Girl