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Mary Jo Bang Papers

Identifier: MS-MS-ms154
Mary Jo Bang. Photograph by Matt Valentine.
Mary Jo Bang. Photograph by Matt Valentine.

The Mary Jo Bang Papers consists largely of her own manuscript materials, including drafts of individual poems, book reviews, essays, introductions and translations, as well as editorial material toward her published and unpublished books. Also included are personal journals, college work, artwork, printed materials and ephemera. A substantial amount of personal and business correspondence is present, primarily with friends, family, editors, students, and colleagues in the literary community. Finally, the Bang Papers include a large assortment of material relating Bang’s work outside of writing including editorial work for the Boston Review, teaching, conferences and readings, consolations and advisory boards, fellowships, residencies, exhibitions, and photography.


  • Creation: 1950-2017


Conditions Governing Access

Some restrictions. Please contact Curator for more details.

Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


92.00 boxes

Biographical or Historical Information

Mary Jo Bang (October 22, 1946 - ) is an American poet.  Born in Waynesville, Missouri, Bang grew up in Ferguson and graduated from McCluer High School. She received a BA and an MA in Sociology from Northwestern University, a BA in photography from the Polytechnic of Central London, and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.

Bang is the author of several books of poems, including Apology for Want (1997), which received the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize and the 1998 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award; Louise in Love (2001); The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans (2001); The Eye Like a Strange Balloon (2004); Elegy (2007), which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award; and The Bride of E (2009); Inferno (2012); and The Last Two Seconds (2015).

Bang has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bellagio Foundation, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She has received a “Discovery”/The Nation award, a Pushcart Prize, and her poems have been included in multiple editions of The Best American Poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including New Republic, Yale Review, Boston Review, Paris Review, Columbia, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, Nation, Notre Dame Review, Paris Review, Tin House, New Yorker, and New American Writing.

Bang was the poetry co-editor of the Boston Review from 1995 to 2005, and is currently a professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Method of Acquisition

Accession number 2014.022. Puchase from Mary Jo Bang, December 23, 2014

Accession number MSS2017-027

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Schnuriger

Mary Jo Bang Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 November 12: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.
  • 2022 April 28 - June 16: Additional data cleanup by Kate Goldkamp.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495