2013 National Book Award Winner, Poetry
In her gorgeous second collection, Mary Szybist blends traditional and experimental aesthetics to recast the myth of the Biblical Mary for this era. In vulnerable lyrics, surprising concrete poems, and other forms, and with extraordinary sympathy and a light touch of humor, Szybist probes the nuances of love, loss, and the struggle for religious faith in a world that seems to argue against it. This is a religious book for nonbelievers, or a book of necessary doubts for the faithful.
About the Book
Mary Szybist’s richly imagined encounters offer intimate spaces and stagings for experiences that are exploratory and sometimes explosive. Through the lens of an iconic moment, the Annunciation of an unsettling angel to a bodily young woman, Szybist describes the confusion and even terror of moments in which our longing for the spiritual may also be a longing for what is most fundamentally alien to us. In a world where we are so often asked to choose sides, to believe or not believe, to embrace or reject, Incarnadine offers lyrical and brilliantly inventive alternatives.
About the Author
Mary Szybist grew up in Pennsylvania. She earned degrees from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Her first collection of poetry,Granted (2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and in 2009, she won a Witter Bynner Fellowship. According to judge Kay Ryan, Syzbist’s “lovely musical touch is light and exact enough to catch the weight and grind of love. This is a hard paradox to master as she does.”
Szybist is also the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has appeared in the Iowa Review and Denver Quarterly and was featured in Best American Poetry (2008). She is an associate professor of English at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon.