A Film in Which I Play Everyone: Poems

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Product Details
$17.00  $15.81
Graywolf Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.4 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author
MARY JO BANG is also the author of Apology for Want, winner of the Bakeless Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and Louise in Love, winner of the Poetry Society's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She has received a Discovery/the Nation Award and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Bang's latest plumbs the nature of identity with limber lines and cheeky aplomb."--The New York Times Book Review

"Mary Jo Bang's new collection, A Film in Which I Play Everyone, is full of the sly wit and unsettling profundity for which she's so well known. I've read and enjoyed her previous eight collections, and I think this one is my favorite. The range of these poems offers so many different entry points, so many different little plots to engage with."-- Ron Charles, The Washington Post's Book Club Newsletter

"A Film in Which I Play Everyone is a remarkable and sweeping collection of poems that turn inward again and again, each participating in a broader narrative of self-actualization. . . . This book is indeed cinematic, but it contains far more than a film could ever hope."--Ronnie K. Stephens, The Poetry Question

"These inventive, sharp poems are written like the best scenes of a film, the kind that make a movie memorable, and Bang directs her readers toward the points of view she wants them to experience, in the exact way she wants them to be experienced, like any good filmmaker would."--Amber Tamblyn, Bust Magazine

"Only time will tell if A Film in Which I Play Everyone is Bang's masterpiece, but there is no denying that with Bang at the height of her craft, it doesn't appear that the poetic curtains of the stage she's built over the past three decades will be closing anytime soon."--Esteban Rodríguez, The Adroit Journal

"Reading the poems in Bang's new book is a bit like dreaming, or a bit like listening to someone think, or like remembering disparate events in one's life, or, perhaps more accurately, like listening to oneself think about disparate memories from one's life that have been filtered through dreams. In short, it is far from a logical and linear experience, but reading the book does what poetry is supposed to do: it helps us navigate the world in a new way."--David Starkey, California Review of Books

"The poems in Mary Jo Bang's latest collection, "A Film in Which I Play Everyone," are full of pleasure, color, sound and light -- but also torment." --Elisa Gabbert, The New York Times Book Review

"These deeply observed poems explore what it is to find oneself trapped in a role--that of Daphne or Sisyphus, Ophelia or Hamlet--and discover that the only escape is through self-knowledge and imagination."--Tiffany Troy, Rain Taxi

"For all of us who are searching for ways to understand the life given to us, A Film in Which I Play Everyone parses that endless mystery."--Annelie Hyatt, Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism

"Many of these poems deal either directly or indirectly with outsiderness--the feeling that someone else is directing your movie. . . . She is suggesting, it seems, that being oneself, and being at peace with the world, can be a good and even necessary alternative to being in power. Then again, why should the two be mutually exclusive? Why should anyone have to choose?"--Liza Katz Duncan, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Bang's cinematic ninth collection (after A Doll for Throwing) takes a tour of lived experience through a capricious lens that superpositions the familiar and the uncanny. . . . Wry and invigorating, this resonant collection mollifies the need for certainty."--Publishers Weekly

"Hollywood, a metaphor for perfection, is supposed to be this big thing, this dream--the money and the glamor. But through an oscillating scope of reflection, Bang points out how narrow the framing of a film lens can be, how self-concerned we are yet still, self-doubting."--Katy Scarlett, Michigan Quarterly Review

"A Film in Which I Play Everyone erects a glittering temple to the splendors of perception, one that, unlike the Alhambra or Versailles, can withstand the ravages of the material world. Under Bang's direction, the seer and the seen need not be separated by the screen between them--nor by gendered theories of the gaze. Both film and femme are as fragile as they are indelible, forever impressed on our collective conscience."--Eileen G'Sell, Harp & Altar