The Bride of E Poems


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Graywolf Press


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1555975399

9781555975395

96 Pages

$22.00

CAD25.00

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
In her sixth collection, The Bride of E, Mary Jo Bang uses a distinctive mix of humor and directness to sound the deepest sort of anguish: the existential condition. Timeless yet tirelessly inventive, Bang fashions her examination of the lived life into an abecedarius that is as rapturous in its language and music as it is affecting in its awareness of—and yearning for—what isn't there. The title of the first poem, "ABC Plus E: Cosmic Aloneness Is the Bride of Existence," posits the collection's central problem, and a symposium of figures from every register of our culture (from Plato to Pee-wee Herman, Mickey Mouse to Sartre) is assembled to help confront it. Riddled with insight, pathos, and wit, The Bride of E is a brilliant new work by one the most compelling poets of our time.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Bride of E

"In her follow-up to the National Book Critics Circle Award–winning Elegy, Bang is up to some of her old tricks again, but the previous collection's tour of a loss-inflected world has also taught her some new ones. The book takes the alphabet as its jumping-off point, with one or more poems titled for each letter ('A Equals All of a Sudden,' 'Beast Brutality,' etc.) Here again are Bang's quirky poetic leaps '“In another corner, Freud says, Yes/ In the dark of primitive desire means yes/ Forever'), but somehow they are more foreboding than before, the wild associations of a haunted mind: 'The note rises from something awful./ A woman in a jam. Train wreck of crumpled cars.' Poems vamp on literature, fables, fairy tales, pop culture icons (like Cher) and shards of a lost childhood world. One poem rewrites Poe's most famous work ('Her name is Lenore Nevermore'), while 'B is for Beckett' sums up the Nobel laureate's work in one line: 'There is so little to say.' The book concludes with a short series of prose pieces that flirt with memoir. 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

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Mary Jo Bang is the author of five previous books of poetry, including Louise in Love, The Eye Like a Strange Balloon, and Elegy, which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and was named a 2008 New York Times Notable Book. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she is a Professor of English and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Washington University.


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BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Mary Jo Bang is the author of five previous books of poetry, including Louise in Love, The Eye Like a Strange Balloon, and Elegy, which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and was named a 2008 New York Times Notable Book. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she is a Professor of English and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Washington University.
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