Visiting Writers Series Hosts Poet Mary Ruefle for Reading and Book Signing

Mary Ruefle Reading poster

The MFA for Poets and Writers presents a reading by Mary Ruefle on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. in Old Chapel. The reading will be followed by a book signing and refreshments.

Though poet and essayist Mary Ruefle was born outside Pittsburgh, she spent her youth moving around the United States and Europe with her military family.

She has written numerous books of poetry, including including the forthcoming “Dunce,” “My Private Property,” “Indeed I Was Pleased with the World” and “The Adamant,” which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the essay collection “Madness, Rack, and Honey.” “A Little White Shadow,” her book of erasures—found texts in which all but a few words have been erased from the page—reveals what “Publishers Weekly,” in a starred review, called “haiku-like minifables, sideways aphorisms, and hauntingly perplexing koans.” Ruefle's erasures are available to view on her website; a full-color facsimile of her erasure “Incarnation of Now” was published in a limited edition by See Double Press.

She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as a Whiting Writers’ Award and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been anthologized in “Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems,” “American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets” and “The Next American Essay.” Ruefle has also published a collection of fiction, “The Most of It.”

Ruefle earned a bachelor of arts degree in literature from Bennington College. She has taught at Vermont College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Vermont. Poet Peter Gizzi, a professor in the MFA program, calls Ruefle “a poet of wild turns of phrase and wild imagination.”

Celebrating its 55th year, the nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative, and made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Arts Council and the English department.

All events are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. RSVP on Facebook.