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Artist Talk: Mary Ruefle

In conversation with poet & exhibit curator Mark Wunderlich

April 2, 2022 @ 3:00 pm


The lecture will be in-person at High Low, and streamed live to this event page and to Saint Louis Poetry Center’s Facebook Live page.

Photo credits: Matt Valentine (Ruefle), Nicholas Kahn (Wunderlich)

In conjunction with the exhibition Erasures, poet and artist Mary Ruefle, in conversation with acclaimed poet and exhibit curator Mark Wunderlich, discusses her practice of erasure, which she defines as “creating a new text by disappearing the old text that surrounds it.” Using a variety of techniques and media, Ruefle covers over original texts to reveal new voices, phrases, narratives, and poetic fragments.

Co-sponsored by Kranzberg Arts Foundation, High Low, and Bennington College


MARY RUEFLE is author of over a dozen books of poems, essays, and short fiction, including Dunce (2019), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, My Private Property (2016), Indeed I Was Pleased with the World (2007), and The Adamant (1989), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the essay collection Madness, Rack, and Honey (2012), the work of fiction The Most of It (2008), and A Little White Shadow (2006), a book of erasures. A full-color facsimile of her erasure An Incarnation of the Now was published in a limited edition by See Double Press. A graduate of Bennington College, where she studied literature, and a resident of Bennington, Vermont, Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Whiting Award.

MARK WUNDERLICH is the author of The Anchorage (1999), which received the Lambda Literary Award, Voluntary Servitude (2004), The Earth Avails (2014), which was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award and received the 2015 Rilke Prize, and God of Nothingness (2021).  He has received fellowships from the NEA, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Wallace Stegner Fellowship Program at Stanford, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Amy Lowell Trust and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.  Wunderlich has taught at Stanford and Barnard College and in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University, Ohio University, San Francisco State University and Sarah Lawrence.  As an arts administrator, he has worked at the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, Poets & Writers and the Napa Valley Writers Conference.  He holds a BA in German Literature and English from the University of Wisconsin, and an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts. Wunderlich lives in the Hudson River Valley and has taught at Bennington since 2004. He became the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars in August 2017.


  • Mary Ruefle, “The Sea-Shore Vacation,” 2018, 4¼ x 6 x ¾ x 1 inches (courtesy of the Robert Frost Stone House Museum)
3301 Washington Ave
Saint Louis, MO 63103