Visually arresting and utterly one-of-a-kind, Sarah J. Sloat's Hotel Almighty is a book-length erasure of pages from Misery by Stephen King, a reimagining of the novel's themes of constraint and possibility in elliptical, enigmatic poems. Here, "joy would crawl over broken glass, if that was the way." Here, sleep is a "circle whose diameter might be small," a circle "pitifully small," a "wrecked and empty hypothetical circle." Paired with Sloat's stunning mixed-media collage, each poem is a miniature canvas, a brief associative profile of the psyche—its foibles, obsessions, and delights.
The New York Times Book Review, “New & Noteworthy Poetry, from the Ancient Greeks to Billy Collins”
Library Journal, "Versifying / Collection Development: Poetry"
Academy of American Poets, “2020 Featured Fall Books”
"Kenyon Review’s 2020 Holiday Reading Recommendations"
"This book of erasure poems uses Stephen King’s “Misery” as its source text, highlighting themes of captivity and imagination. Sloat reproduces the original pages she used, adorned with fanciful collages on the erased sections."
—”New and Noteworthy Poetry, from the Ancient Greeks to Billy Collins,” The New York Times Book Review
"Sarah J. Sloat’s debut poetry collection, Hotel Almighty, is a visual feast. This assemblage of erasure poems and full-color collages is a fantastical, Rubik’s Cube of a delight."
—Kelly Fordon, New York Journal of Books
"Sloat’s brilliant erasures. . . are visual delights that transcend confinement."
—"Kenyon Review’s 2020 Holiday Reading Recommendations," Kenyon Review
"Sarah J. Sloat’s Hotel Almighty (Sarabande, Sept.) goes all out with erasure and mixed-media collage to reimagine Stephen King’s Misery."
—"Versifying / Collection Development: Poetry" by Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
"Hotel Almighty is a collection full of possibility and surprise. Of yes, misery and confinement, but also of playfulness and hope. It’s worth noting how unusual and thrilling it is to encounter a book of poems infused with so much color. The sophistication of the erasure pairs with the illustrative nature of collage to create a distinct mood, at times, like a subversive picture book for the Future Adult version of the kid drawing in the back of the room, who is too smart or dark or witty for the rest of the class."
—"Misery Loves Company: A Conversation with Sarah J. Sloat" by J.M. Farkas, The Rumpus
"Hotel Almighty will make your brain spin until the last page, weaving colorful paper cut-outs, vibrant dots, and gold threads with word-jewels excavated from Misery, bewildering you with a new sense of what poetry is capable of."
"Sloat’s work here belongs within the offbeat orthodoxy of found poetry; the popular label 'blackout poetry' certainly applies to her method of scratching out, painting over or otherwise obscuring printed text, thereby bringing novel messages to the surface. And yet these terms, which live in negative language, don’t fully capture Sloat’s sublime, unsettling outcomes. She coaxes Technicolor poetry from preexisting pages; new verse isn’t merely found—as in stumbled upon—but unearthed."
"Hotel Almighty is a profound work of reinvention — from King’s pop fiction to a hybrid work where houses grow wild with flowers, where one asks hell to “subside a little” (42), and where the reader enjoys every minute of the bizarre, vivid, delightful journey."
—The Indianapolis Review
"This is the technical and dramatic pinnacle of erasure poetry."
—Naoko Fujimoto Poetry & Graphic Poetry
“Sarah J. Sloat’s erasure-collages create intimate and intricate pairings that ricochet back and forth between text and image. In one, a picture of a giant hand tenderly touching a tiny telephone speaks to the page’s mournful question, ‘If I could be / A dim shape slumped over / and round / Would that be so bad?’ In another, the erased text (‘The sound of the wind filled the phone / squeezing into the line / like a nerve awake at night’) is translated into red stitches approaching, then encircling a tree. Hotel Almighty is a marvel.”