Sarah Yerkes was in her 90s when a friend invited her to try something new. A graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Yerkes had had decades-long careers: first as a landscape architect using brick and stone; then as a sculptor creating abstract works in wood and steel, and in her later years, papier-mache.
But as she aged, sculpting had become physically challenging. A fellow resident at Ingleside at Rock Creek, the D.C. retirement community where she lives, had started taking a poetry writing class, so Yerkes joined, too.
Last month, at age 101, she released her first collection of poems, “Days of Blue and Flame,” published by Passager Books at the University of Baltimore. The book is the latest iteration of a creative mind that has worked with form and style for the better part of a century.