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V.R. Lang, A Memorial, Part 1



Poet and playwright V.R. "Bunny" Lang was a contemporary of John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and Edward Gorey. She is often associated with Cambridge's The Poet's Theater and the New York School of Poets. Decades after her premature death, Charles Ruas and Susan Howe produced a program, celebrating Bunny's life and work. Originally recorded in December 1975, this is the first of three segments of the restored program. The segment includes recorded readings by the late Bunny, as well as interviews with her colleagues; Alison Lurie, Ashbery, and Mary Manning .

Now celebrated writers and academics in their own right, the three interviewees discuss the many moods and peculiar habits of Bunny. Lurie, who was perhaps closest to the poet, remarks upon her having been a second-wave feminist before it was institutionalized. She remarks upon her friend's nontraditional ambitions to favor her career over domesticity. Lang, marrying only a year before she died, conceding to do so only when she knew that her life would be cut short. Ashbery reflects on his meeting of Bunny, shortly after he graduated from Harvard. He talks theater shop and reads some of her work. He and Manning discuss her flamboyant social life in New York City. Manning, concedes that while the late poet was a genius, she had a bit of a dark side.





Massachusetts native, V.R. "Bunny" Lang was a poet, playwright, and actress. She was the founding editor of the Chicago Review and was a pivotal player in the establishment of Cambridge's The Poets' Theater. Bunny was active in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps during WWII and the New York School of Poets, after the war. She is often mentioned in O'Hara's poems. Her work was published widely in periodicals and publications including; V.R. Lang: Poems and Plays, With a Memoir by Alison Lurie (1975). She died of Hodgkin's disease at the age of 32.