B.H. Fairchild & Mary Jo Bang (2013)

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For the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series 2013, B.H. Fairchild & Mary Jo Bang read their inventive and creative poetry on February 11, 2013 in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre. A reception and book signing followed.

B.H. Fairchild

B.H. Fairchild has honed a distinguished voice with work that strikes a chord—resonant, strong and with imagery cemented in the American identity. His most recent book, Usher is his sixth collection of poetry. He is also the author of the critical study Such Holy Song: Music as Idea, Form, and Image in the Poetry of William Blake. His previous volume Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is the recipient of many awards and fellowships including the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Bobbitt National Prize from the Library of Congress, and Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Fairchild is currently a professor at the University of North Texas.

Mary Jo Bang

Mary Jo Bang’s work is wholly original, taking cues from art, from her personal losses, and from the greater tapestry of life. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Apology for Want, Louise in Love, The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans, The Bride of E, and Elegy, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. Her latest collection is a translation of Dante’s Inferno. Bang has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bellagio Foundation, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Discovery/The Nation award, and a Pushcart Prize. She is currently a professor at the University of Washington in St. Louis.

"This is the American voice at its best." —The New York Times on B.H. Fairchild

“Gorgeously dreamy poems . . . possesses the whimsy and abandon of Lewis Carroll or Gertrude Stein.” —Prairie Schooner on Mary Jo Bang’s Louise in Love

from "Frieda Pushnik"

These are the faces I love. Adrift with wonder, big-eyed as infants and famished for that strangeness in the world they haven’t known since early childhood, they are monsters of innocence who gladly shoulder the burden of the blessed, the unbroken, the beautiful, the lost.

From Usher © 2009 by B.H. Fairchild, published by W.W. Norton. Used with permission.