Szybist, Mary 1970–

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Szybist, Mary 1970–

PERSONAL: Born 1970, in Williamsport, PA. Education: Attended University of Virginia and University of Iowa.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Alice James Books, 238 Main St., Farmington, ME 04938.

CAREER: Poet and teacher. Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, visiting assistant professor of English, 2004. Has had teaching posts at the Tennessee Governor's School for Humanities, West High School in Iowa City, IA, and the University of Virginiaapos;s Young Writer's Workshop. Teaching-writing fellow at University of Iowa Writers Workshop.

AWARDS, HONORS: Academy of American Poets Prize; Rona Jaffe Foundation Writing Award; Beatrice Hawley Award, 2002, and National Book Critics Circle Award, finalist, 2003, both for Granted.


Granted (poetry), Alice James Books (Farmington, ME), 2003.

Poems have been appeared in various publications, including Denver Quarterly, Delmar 7, and the Colorado.

SIDELIGHTS: Mary Szybist has received broad acclaim for her first book of poetry, titled Granted. "The power of Mary's poetry lies in the luminous quality of her imagery, which sets this haunting world before our eyes, but also in the delicacy of tone that allows her to draw back, to speak quietly about her own acts of perception," wrote Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky in an article about Szybist on the Kenyon College Web site.

In Granted, Szybist uses a wide range of natural, biblical, and classical imagery as she explores love, art, and religious longing. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Maureen N. McLane felt that Szybist's "strongest poems chart a rigorous ambivalence—the dance between resistance and desire." Noting on the Devaney Doak & Garrett Web site that Granted was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award, Kenny Brechner commented, "Understanding, rather than depredation, is her aim, making the experience of reading Granted more akin to pleasure than to a kind of depleted survival." Women's Review of Books contributor Miriam Sagan commented, "The strength of Szybist's poetry is that it is precise and polished. Its weakness is that a true poetic voice rarely breaks through the smooth surface." Nevertheless, Sagan also noted, "Szybist is a poet to watch." Diane Scharper, writing in the Library Journal, felt that "the best of these 37 poems express an almost intimate relationship between the poet and the sacred" and called the effort a "fine first book."



Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2004, Maureen N. McLane, review of Granted, p. 1.

Library Journal, February 1, 2003, Diane Scharper, review of Granted, p. 95; April 15, 2004, Barbara Hoffert, review of Granted, p. 88.

Women's Review of Books, May, 2004, Miriam Sagan, review of Granted, p. 10.


Devaney Doak & Garrett Web site, (February 10, 2005), Kenny Brechner, review of Granted.

Electronic Poetry Review Online, (February 10, 2005), "Mary Szybist."

Kenyon College Web site, (January 23, 2004), "Writer of Many Gifts."

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Szybist, Mary 1970–

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