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The Bride of E

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Mary Jo Bang
I took. I borrowed. I turned.
I knew. And from then on
I was the anything that wanted done.
—from “A Equals All of a Sudden”

Following her acclaimed Elegy, Mary Jo Bang’s sixth collection, The Bride of E, confronts what the first poem posits in its title: “Cosmic Aloneness Is the Bride of Existence.” Out of that solitude of being, Bang has fashioned an abecedarian that is at once wild and rapturous in its language and music, and compelling and beautiful in its awareness of and yearning for what isn’t there. The Bride of E is the brilliant new work by one of our essential, most innovative poets.

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The new collection by Mary Jo Bang, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and “one of the finest poets of her generation”—Marjorie Perloff


About the Author

Mary Jo  Bang
Credit: Jessica Baran

Mary Jo Bang has published eight poetry collections, including A Doll for Throwing and Elegy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and new translations of Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio. She teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.

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  • “This book bridges a gap between an experimental tradition in American poetry and an older high lyric tradition. This is some of Bang’s best writing, and one of the most exciting books of the year.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • “Mary Jo Bang’s slightly skewed, energetic poems seduced me slowly over a long period of time, a poem with its legs crossed at the ankles here, a poem with a scab on it’s elbow there, until I succumbed fully to her curious honesty and good, troubled nature. She is complicated and funny, odd in a smart, vulnerable, internal way. . . . Bang evinces her vulnerability because the honest telling of it is part of her search. The work is neither bravada-propelled confessionalism nor is it show-offy oddballism. It is not plaintive. It is not silly-to-no-avail. But it is tender and controlled. Even in its containment it lets you experience some of the messiness of being human—because, after all, being human is a messy proposition. She is malleable and she is generous. And when she stumbles there is no shame.”—The Literary Review
  • “[Bang shows] her masterful technical control. . . . An extraordinary book.”—Cerise Press
  • “A heady mix of humor and philosophy. . . . the poems crackle with energy as they demonstrate that the world moves along faster than anyone could possibly follow it.”—Magill Book Reviews
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