The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work At 72

Molly Peacock

Molly Peacock

Molly Peacock
Photo by Andrew Tolson

About the Author

Molly Peacock, a poet and a creative nonfiction writer, is the author of six books of poetry, including The Second Blush (W.W. Norton and Company, June 2008, in the US and McClelland and Stewart, March 2009, in Canada) and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems (W.W. Norton and Company in the US and UK and Penguin Canada, 2002). Among her other works are a memoir called Paradise, Piece By Piece and How To Read A Poem and Start A Poetry Circle (1998, 1999; both published by Riverhead Penguin in the US and McClelland and Stewart in Canada). She is the editor of a collection of creative non-fiction, The Private I: Privacy in a Public World (Graywolf Press) and the co-editor of Poetry in Motion: One Hundred Poems from the Subways and Buses (W.W. Norton, 1996).

Peacock also wrote and performed in a one-woman staged monologue in poems, The Shimmering Verge, produced by Femme Fatale Productions, which she performed in theatres throughout North America, including a showcase production at Urban Stages in New York City in February 2006.

She has read her poetry at the Library of Congress, the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y, and Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), as well as at numerous colleges, universities, and libraries. For several years she conducted quarterly poetry circles on Wisconsin Public Radio's Here On Earth with Jean Feraca.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Molly received a B.A. magna cum laude from Harpur College (Binghamton University, SUNY) and an M.A. with honors from The Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University. A transplanted New Yorker and a dual American-Canadian citizen, she now lives with her husband, James Joyce scholar Michael Groden, in Toronto.

Among her awards are Danforth Foundation, Ingram Merrill Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts Fellowships. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. She spent 2008-09 at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where a Fellowship gave her the chance to begin transforming an essay on Mrs. Delany, "Passion Flowers in Winter" - which appeared in PMS: Poem/Memoir/Story no. 6 in 2006 and was selected by David Foster Wallace for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2007 - into the book that became The Paper Garden.

Former Poet-in-Residence at the American Poets' Corner (Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York) and former President of the Poetry Society of America, Peacock is one of the creators of Poetry in Motion on subways and buses throughout North America. Currently she is on the faculty of the Spalding University Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts program. She also serves as Series Editor of the The Best Canadian Poetry in English, published each year by Tightrope Books in Toronto.

Visit Molly Peacock's website.
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Lily collage Mary Delany The Paper Garden