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Reading by Margaret Ray: Good Grief, the Ground

Selected by Stephanie Burt as the winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, Good Grief, the Ground interrogates the everyday violences nonchalantly inflicted onto women through personal, political, and national lenses. Moving between adolescence and adulthood, Ray alternates between dark humor and heart-wrenching honesty to explore grief, anxiety, queer longing, girlhood, escape from the roles the world offers us, and the dangers of lending language to a thing. With stunning wit and precision and attention, Ray shows us what it is to be human: the mess of tenderness and darkness and animosity.

“It’s hard to stay present in this world: to stay not only alive but alert. . . It’s hard, but Margaret Ray’s first collection makes it happen. Show and tell, f—/marry/bury, ‘Cheez-its,’ ‘Sweet Fears’ and advice from her younger self recur as Ray shows us through her—and not only her—world in the American vernacular, the supple free verse, and the technical variety of this stunning, and scary, and honestly fun, collection.” —Stephanie Burt, author of We Are Mermaids

Margaret Ray grew up in Gainesville, Florida and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College. A winner of the Third Coast Poetry Prize and a Chapbook Fellowship from the Poetry Society of America for her chapbook Superstitions of the Mid-Atlantic, her poems have appeared in Narrative, The Gettysburg Review, Threepenny Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She teaches in New Jersey.

Margaret Ray will be in conversation with author and poet Peter Conners, Publisher and Executive Director of BOA Editions.

This is a free online event streamed via Zoom. 


Monday, April 10, 2023


7:30 pm - 8:15 pm

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