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Muriel Rukeyser (1913–1980)

Author of The Life of Poetry

Includes the names: Muriel Rukesyer, Muriel Rukeyser

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During her five-decade literary career, Rukeyser provoked varying critical response; yet her passionate contribution to the contemporary literary and political scene cannot be doubted. An outspoken "spokespoet," she was always where the political action was. As a young reporter from Vassar, she covered the 1932 Scottsboro Trial; some forty years later, she was jailed for her anti-Vietnam protests in Washington, D.C. So closely aligned is her activism to her art that several reviewers believe that the history of midcentury America can be garnered from her poetry. Yet, along with her outrage, Rukeyser's poetry is marked by optimism in a way that is reminiscent of Walt Whitman's verse. It is as though she believed that out of the pain of conflict will come a healing and transforming revelation. During her career, Rukeyser moved from a reliance on simple declaratives to a more sophisticated, private use of language; and, though she continued to deal with politics all her life, later poems also treat personal subjects---her role as mother and daughter, her sexual feelings for women and men, the illness that led to her death. From beginning to end, she was honored for her contribution to poetry: with the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1935 for Theory of Flight to the tribute paid her at the annual New York Quarterly Poetry Day in 1977. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Life of Poetry
… (more)
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Contributor) 1,129 copies, 9 reviews
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (Contributor, some editions) 418 copies, 1 review
The Portable Sixties Reader (Contributor) 307 copies, 3 reviews
The Penguin Book of Women Poets (Contributor) 284 copies
This Is My Best (Contributor) 166 copies
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (Contributor) 148 copies, 1 review
Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (Contributor) 125 copies, 1 review
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