Sofia M. Starnes
Poet and Editor, Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2012-2014
My Approach to Writing
My Approach to Editing

Greetings and welcome to my homepage.

As Poet Laureate of Virginia, I extend a special welcome to visitors from our Commonwealth. Thank you for dropping by! I invite you to click on The Nearest Poem Anthology tab.

There you will learn about a project I initiated to create a testament to the immediacy of poetry and its relevance in our lives. Here's an update:
The anthology is now in print. It was issued on March 1, 2014, by Cedar Creek Press. The book is 250 pages long and features over 100 classic and contemporary poems that have made an impact on the lives of Virginians. Each poem appears alongside an essay by the reader who selected and submitted the poem.

Please visit the Cedar Creek website, at for information about pricing and orders. If you are one of the 112 contributors to the anthology and have not received the message that I sent about the book's publication, kindly contact me at and let me know. Thank you!


Some excerpts from my poems...

is the word I would use the most cautiously,
How precarious its hum,
ear to earth, plumbing earth, earthwise.

From "The Soul's Landscape" (A Commerce of Moments)


Let’s say we leave out every thirdness, the odd drone
hovering over a bee-line, the loose tongue
in the uncommon serpent,
threading a twig... instead,
we slip into a commerce of moments: one-two,
one-two: noon gossip for midnight truth,
leaf-lethargy for home.
Two crows have scared the crickets balancing our luck –
a caw, a pull, a pause –
what could, what must become of a life.

From "The Tightrope" (A Commerce of Moments)


I am bewildered by my fall,
how the ground rose between groans and good lips,
how it hummed when the tower homed,

fully into ashes.
And all I heard, whooshed between words, 
was love you, love me.

From "The House That Spoke" (Fully Into Ashes)


A restless voice cries out across the street
and steals what twilight gives them, tipping earth;
the dual scents of lamb and mint converse,
and mindless of the door, feasts wander in.

No matter if they pull the shades, latch inwardly
the locks; the world must sneak its aches, its carbon in.
Won't one of them respond: cheeks risen, feverish?
And won't the other pray with human breath?

From "Why Honeymoons Are Brief" (Love and the Afterlife)