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20 March 2024
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
All ages welcome
The reading will be hosted by Holly Pester. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so that you can read along.
Registration for this online event will cost £2, redeemable against the cost of the book. You will receive the discount code and instructions for how to purchase the book in your confirmation email as well as during and after the event.
In the archives of the Houghton Library at Harvard blazes the incandescent work of V.R. ‘Bunny’ Lang (1924-56), the American poet and playwright whose name has been all but erased from literary history. The fiery nerve centre of the literary scene around mid-century Harvard, and best friend of the iconic New York School poet Frank O’Hara – who referred to her as ‘one of our finest poets’ – Lang herself has languished in the shadows of American poetry for too long.
This book brings into print some of Lang’s most startling, strange, and beautiful poetry, much of which has never been published before, drawing her into the spotlight at last. It includes an editor’s introduction by scholar and writer Rosa Campbell, on Lang’s fascinating and often hilariously eccentric life, devastatingly early death, and her rightful place in the canon of twentieth-century American poetry. The Miraculous Season, published in Lang’s centenary year, is a revelation of the true breadth and brilliance of her poetry, rediscovered and made available in print for the first time since 1975.
V.R. ‘Bunny’ Lang (1924-1956) was a poet, playwright, actress and director born in Boston, the youngest of six daughters. She was a founding member of the Poets’ Theatre in Cambridge, Massachussetts in 1950, where she staged two verse dramas, Fire Exit (1952) and I Too Have Live in Arcadia (1954), and starred in multiple other productions, including the original performance of Frank O’Hara’s Try! Try! (1951). Her poetry was widely published in her lifetime, particularly in POETRY, and she was, for a time, editor of the Chicago Review. She died of Hodgkin’s disease at the age of thirty-two.
About the speakers:
Rosa Campbell lives in Edinburgh, and is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of St Andrews, where she also teaches modern and contemporary literature. Her poetry has appeared in various places, including Oxford Poetry, fourteen poems, Perverse, Ambit, Gutter and SPAM. Her first book, Pothos, a memoir-ish lyric essay about grief and houseplants, was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2021. She tweets as @rosaetc.
Holly Pester is a poet and writer. She has worked in sound art and performance, with original dramatic work on BBC Radio 4, and collaborations with Serpentine Galleries, Women’s Art Library, and Wellcome Collection. Her poetry has been published extensively, appearing in Poetry Review, The White Review, Poetry London. Her fiction has been published in Granta and anthologised in Protest (Comma Press, 2018). Comic Timing, her Forward Prize-nominated first full collection of poetry, was published by Granta, 2021. Her first novel, The Lodgers, is forthcoming with Granta. She currently lives in Colchester, Essex.
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