Liz Waldner grew up in rural Mississippi and earned a BA in mathematics and philosophy at St. John’s College and an MFA at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her first book of poetry, Homing Devices
(1998), came after an 18-year silence; since then, Waldner has published prolifically. Her recent books include A Point Is That Which Has No Part
(2000), which won both the Iowa Poetry Prize and the James Laughlin Award, Self and Simulacra
(2001), Dark Would (the missing person)
(2009), and Play
Waldner’s work is known for its formal experimentation, reliance on quotation and pastiche, and often playful rhyme schemes. Using long titles, made-up words, and expansive proselike sentences that change topic quickly and constantly, Waldner’s verse, according to poet-critic Stephen Burt
, “pays constant homage to the delights of the senses; beside her, most similarly difficult present-day poets seem arid, theoretical, no fun.”
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