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Mary Jo Bang

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09/13/2008

Bang is the author of five books of poems, including Elegy (Graywolf Press, 2007), The Eye Like a Strange Balloon (2004), The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of the Swans (2001) and Louise In Love (2001). Her first book, Apology for Want (1997), was chosen by Edward Hirsch for the 1996 Bakeless Prize. About her most recent collection, Elegy, which traces the aftermath of her son's death, Wayne Koestenbaum writes: "Mary Jo Bang's remarkable elegies recall the late work of Ingeborg Bachmann-a febrile, recursive lyricism. Like Nietzsche or Plath , Bang flouts naysayers; luridly alive, she drives deep into aporia, her new, sad country. Her stanzas, sometimes spilling, sometimes severe, perform an uncanny death-song, recklessly extended-nearly to the breaking point."

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