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A Doll for Throwing

Poems
Mary Jo Bang
We were ridiculous—me, with my high jinks and hat. Him, with his boredom and drink. I look back now and see buildings so thick that the life I thought I was making then is nothing but interlocking angles and above them, that blot of gray sky I sometimes saw. Underneath is the edge of what wasn’t known then. When I would go. When I would come back. What I would be when.
 
—from “One Glass Negative”
A Doll for Throwing takes its title from Bauhaus artist Alma Siedhoff-Buscher’s Wurfpuppe, a flexible and durable woven doll that, if thrown, would land with grace. A ventriloquist is also said to “throw” her voice into a doll that rests on the knee. Mary Jo Bang’s prose poems in this fascinating book create a speaker who had been a part of the Bauhaus school in Germany a century ago and who had also seen the school’s collapse when it was shut by the Nazis in 1933. Since this speaker is not a person but only a construct, she is also equally alive in the present and gives voice to the conditions of both time periods: nostalgia, xenophobia, and political extremism. The life of Bauhaus photographer Lucia Moholy echoes across these poems—the end of her marriage, the loss of her negatives, and her effort to continue to make work and be known for having made it.

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$16.00
ISBN
978-1-55597-781-8
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
88
Trim Size
6 x 9
The exquisite new collection by award-winning poet Mary Jo Bang, author of The Last Two Seconds and Elegy

About the Author

Mary Jo  Bang
Credit: Matt Valentine

Mary Jo Bang has published eight poetry collections, including A Doll for Throwing, The Last Two Seconds, and Elegy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and an acclaimed translation of Dante’s Inferno. She teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.
 

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Praise

  • “A haunting exploration of a past world whose terrors still ring true today, A Doll for Throwing testifies to the permanency of art [and] the value in creating.”Ms. Magazine
  • “Brilliant. . . . While A Doll for Throwing is an urgent work of art history and archival research, it also speaks directly to the present.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • “Coldly beautiful and relentlessly quotable.”—Poets.org
  • One of the Academy of American Poets' Books Noted 2017
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