Mary Maxwell has published five volumes of poems: An Imaginary Hellas, Emporia, Cultural Tourism, Nine Over Sixes and Oral Lake. She is the author of an art monograph, Serena Rothstein: Discourse in Paint, as well as the omnibus collection, The Longnook Overlook. She also recently completed a volume of nonfiction about the genesis and meaning of the movie, The Night of the Hunter, whose origins can be traced back to her childhood hometown of Clarksburg, West Virginia.
A winner of the “Discovery”/The Nation Award and the recipient of residential fellowship from the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, she has also been a visiting artist and scholar at the American Academy in Rome.
Her poems have appeared in Agni, The New Republic, Paris Review, Southern Review, and Yale Review, among other publications. Her translations of Provençal, Latin and Classical Greek poetry have appeared in The American Voice, Literary Imagination, Pequod, Vanitas, The Washington Post Book World and the anthology, Latin Lyric and Elegiac Poetry. As an independent scholar she has published in literary periodicals such as Arion, Boston Review, Partisan Review, PN Review, Raritan, Salmagundi and Threepenny Review. A second volume of The Longnook Overlook and a collection of her essays and talks on prosody and translation are forthcoming.
Mary Maxwell has a very good ear, a discriminating eye, and that most indispensable quality a poet must have, if she really is a poet: an original way of looking at things, a definite stance. — James Dickey
Mary Maxwell’s criticism is so beautifully done, so alive, informed and intelligent that I’m envious of her craft. Each paragraph has something new, while charmingly continuing… She is literary — admirably — without any hint of being a Literary Scholar. — Guy Davenport
Mary Maxwell’s subject is the canon, both literary and social, the received forms of love and literature. In her work, the personal realm of the romantic and the public realm of literature are joined by a myriad of deft stitches. Her poems to other writers have aspects of love poetry, and yet the poems are not set pieces of admiration. They are dialogues with the masters… A kind of wonderful bravura moves through these poems in the guise of self-deprecation as this writer simultaneously celebrates and undermines the canons of thinking and feeling. — Lynn Emanuel