Mary Jean Kledzik, 42nd Annual ODU Literary Festival

Document Type

Featured Participant

Festival Date



University Theatre

Author/Artist Bio

Mary Jean Kledzik’s book, As if Wine Could Pour from Her Nipple, was called “obsessive, lyrical, tender as a lover’s touch, tender as a bruise,” by former Virginia Poet Laureate Ron Smith. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Hotel Amerika, Agni, Gargoyle, Margie, Western Humanities Review and elsewhere. She won awards from the Barbara Deming Foundation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Kentucky Women Writers Conference and the Poetry Society of Virginia, as well as a fellowship to Ragdale. From a childhood of sexual abuse followed by decades of depression and poverty, Kledzik supported herself and two children as a single parent while getting a college degree, one course at a time at age 36. Then, after better jobs, she married, retired and got an MFA from VCU at age 64. She believes in poetry and persistence. David Wojahn wrote “superb collection … with insight, bravado, technical fluency, and bittersweet lucidity.”


Kledzik's reading of As if Wine Could Pour from Her Nipple took place on Wednesday, October 9, at 1 p.m. in the University Theatre. Desiree Cooper also read at this event.


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