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Jennifer O'Grady


I was born in New York City to an Italian-American mother and Irish father. I grew up in Queens, but I usually just say I'm from New York City. I attended Catholic school until the age of eighteen and earned a B.A. in English at Vassar College. After graduation I spent two years as an editorial assistant at Doubleday and left to attend Columbia University's graduate writing program, where I earned an M.F.A.

I am married to Mark Catana, an attorney. We live in a pre-war coop apartment that we have gradually renovated. It occurred to me from something Mark said that we do not see colors (even as basic a color as white) in the same way. This realization impacted my experience of marriage and gave rise to my book's title poem. The attempt to come to terms with this fundamental and unalterable difference of perspective as it inhabits and shapes the most intimate of human relationships is a theme that runs through White. Stylistically, the poems of White are expressed through single-voice narrative as well as verse that juxtaposes two or more voices or texts to convey a divided and ambivalent consciousness. More that what is said in a poem, I am interested in what is not said, the pauses and silences, the space that flows around lines and between stanzas. It is within that space that much of our communication is made palpable, and the boundaries between self and other are illuminated.

Titles by Jennifer O'Grady
White

 


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