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BUNNY! Poetry of V. R. “Bunny” Lang—a reading and discussion

In recognition of the Violet Ranney “Bunny” Lang (1924–1056) Centennial, and the publication of The Miraculous Season: Selected Poems of V.R. “Bunny Lang,” edited and with an introduction by Rosa Campbell (Carcanet, 2024), writer/scholar Rosa Campbell will read from the collection and be joined in conversation by poet/writer Alexa Winik.

Join The Flow Chart Foundation as we (re-)discover and discuss an important and too long overlooked figure of the New York School, a founder of Cambridge’s The Poets Theatre, an accomplished playwright, and a poet.


About the Book:

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.


These are young poems by a poet who got to stay young, and shared her youth with poets we know but her youthful playfulness and unswerving fate and unabashed and forceful ear excite me because suddenly I’m on an unknown road in the annals of poetry history. It’s a little familiar. It’s great. It’s like she just walked in. And made the whole story true. We have someone new to talk with and a different history, Bunny Lang just rewrote it. — Eileen Myles


These poems, which are not exactly personal, do convey the brilliant personality of V.R. “Bunny” Lang, poet, dramatist, and founding figure of 1950s Boston avant-garde theater… They are bitchy, allusive to events off-stage, to a personality, even, that’s off-stage. Always alive, still alive (despite an early, tragic death)… these are tone-of-voice works, totally vocal, startingly rhymed, choppy syntax, spare punctuation, interesting pronouns. Something that remains very modern starts here. —Alice Notley


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.


Alexa Winik (she/her) is a Canadian-born poet and writer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of the chapbook Close River (Magma) and her poetry and essays can be found in various places, including The Ampersand Review, The Awst Press, The Poetry Review, The Adroit Journal, Gutter, and Footprints: an anthology of new ecopoetry (Broken Sleep Books). In 2020, her hybrid sequence ‘Winter Stars Visible in December’ won the 2020 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award in Poetry, presented by the Writers’ Trust of Canada.



Mar 14 2024


3:00 pm


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