Mary Jo Bang Reads From ‘Elegy’

BY NewsHour Poetry Series  April 8, 2008 at 12:05 AM EDT

Mary Jo Bang was born in Waynesville, Mo., and lives in St. Louis, where she is professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at Washington University.

Bang is the author of five books of poems: “Elegy” (2007, National Book Critics Circle award); “The Eye Like a Strange Balloon” (2004); “The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of the Swans” (2001); “Louise In Love” (2001); and “Apology for Want” (1997, Bakeless Prize).

In reviewing Bang’s “Elegy,” poet Fanny Howe writes, “These poems (elegies) are written under the sign of Necessity. They exist because they have to exist. This means they are still burning from the forge, carry pain that is radiant, and cut a guiding path for the reader.”

Transcript: Mary Jo Bang

Mary Jo Bang reads more of her poetry in this web exclusive: