Poet, playwright, and actress Violet Ranney “Bunny” Lang grew up in Boston. She attended the University of Chicago and during World War II joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. She later served as an editor of the Chicago Review and returned to New York City after the war, where she became associated with the New York School of poets. A close friend of the poet Frank O’Hara, Lang appears in many of his poems.
Lang’s own poems are at once wry and elegiac, frequently making use of serial metaphors. During her lifetime, Lang published widely in respected literary journals and wrote and starred in two verse dramas: Fire Exit (1952) and I Too Have Lived in Arcadia (1954). She was a founding member of the Poets’ Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where both of these plays were performed.
Her writing is collected in V.R. Lang: Poems and Plays, With a Memoir by Alison Lurie (1975). A selection of her papers is housed at Harvard University’s Houghton Library. Lang died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1956, at the age of 32.