Mary Cisper grew up in the Midwest and earned a BA in English literature at Northwestern University, a BA in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico, and an MFA in poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California. Her first collection, Dark Tussock Moth (2017), won the 2016 Trio House Prize. About the book, Bhisham Bherwani notes: “her landslip lines stir up the matter of our rich heritage as man and nature, in perennial flux, negotiate a precarious equilibrium. Cisper’s collection, invoking naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, responds with sensitivity and wit to our ecology and our transitory lives.”
Cisper’s work has been published in various journals, including Denver Quarterly, Water-Stone Review, Lana Turner, Terrain, and ZYZZYVA. In an interview for Newfound, Cisper commented about beginning a poem: “I don’t know what will happen, but I’m curious (a kind of hopefulness?) for discovery—however private—keeping in mind what Jack Spicer said, ‘… I always am very unhappy when I say what I want to say.’”
Cisper lives north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband.