Mary Ruefle

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Mary Ruefle (born 1952)[1] is an American poet, essayist, and professor. She has published eleven collections of poetry, most recently, Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013). Ruefle's debut collection of prose, The Most Of It, appeared in 2008 and her collected lectures, Madness, Rack, and Honey, was published in August 2012 - both from Wave Books.

She has been widely published in magazines and journals including The American Poetry Review,[2] Verse Daily, The Believer, Harper's Magazine, and The Kenyon Review,[3] and in anthologies including Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems (2003), American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006), and The Next American Essay (2002).

In describing her poetry, the poet Tony Hoagland has said, "Her work combines the spiritual desperation of Dickinson with the rhetorical virtuosity of Wallace Stevens. The result (for those with ears to hear) is a poetry at once ornate and intense; linguistically marvelous, yes, but also as visceral as anything you are likely to encounter."[4]

The daughter of a military officer, Ruefle was born outside Pittsburgh in 1952, but spent her early life traveling around the U.S. and Europe. She graduated from Bennington College in 1974 with a degree in Literature. She currently lives in Vermont and teaches in the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a visiting professor at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Awards and honors[edit]

Published works[edit]

Full-length Poetry Collections

  • Trances of the Blast" (Wave Books, 2013)
  • Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010) (2011 William Carlos Williams Award)
  • Indeed I Was Pleased with the World (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2007)
  • A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006)
  • Tristimania (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2004)
  • Apparition Hill (CavanKerry Press, 2002)
  • Among the Musk Ox People (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002)
  • Post Meridian (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999)
  • Cold Pluto (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1996; Classic Contemporary version 2001)
  • The Adamant (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1989)
  • Life Without Speaking (University of Alabama Press, 1987)
  • Memling's Veil (University of Alabama Press, 1982)

Prose Collections


  • Madness, Rack, and Honey Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012)


External links[edit]