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Book cover of How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?: The Life and Writing of Muriel Rukeyser

How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?: The Life and Writing of Muriel Rukeyser

by Anne F. Herzog (Editor), Janet E. Kaufman (Editor), Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Pages: 320
Paperback
ISBN: 9780312238858






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Overview of How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?: The Life and Writing of Muriel Rukeyser

Muriel Rukeyser, the late poet, journalist, translator, biographer, pilot, and social activist, has been described as an "American Genius" and our "20th century Whitman." Anne Sexton and Erica Jong both referred to Muriel Rukeyser as "the Mother of Everyone." To read her collected work is to track American history through the century and to question with her the particular nature of the American imagination. Rukeyser began publishing in the 1930s, writing about Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro boys, and the Popular FrontÂ’s stand against fascism, insisting always on the link between public subjects and the personal life. Until she died in 1980 at the age of 66, she persisted in bringing the events of the world into poetry, and poetry into the world. Her writing stretches the American poetic imagination, indeed the very definitions of American poetry, and guarantees her place in 20th-century American literature. "How Shall We Teach Each Other of the Poet?" brings together the voices of those who have been challenged by the complexity and richness of RukeyserÂ’s poems: former friends, colleagues, editors, and students reflecting on their personal knowledge of the poet; contemporary poets probing the significance of Rukeyser as one who influenced their own poetry, and scholars offering new interpretations of her work.

Synopsis of How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?: The Life and Writing of Muriel Rukeyser

"How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?" brings together the voices of those who have been challenged by the complexity and richness of Rukeyser's poems: former friends, colleagues, editors, and students reflecting on their personal knowledge of the poet; contemporary poets probing the significance of Rukeyser as one who influenced their own poetry, and scholars offering new interpretations of her work.

Booklist

Rukeyser does...emerge from these pages, vibrant, defiant, gifted, and embracing.

About the Author, Anne F. Herzog

Anne F. Herzog is on the English Faculty of West Chester University.

Janet E. Kaufman is on the English Faculty of the University of Utah.

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Editorials

Booklist

Rukeyser does...emerge from these pages, vibrant, defiant, gifted, and embracing.

Library Journal

Even if Muriel Rukeyser never attained the status of Whitman or Dickinson, the poets Adrienne Rich compares her to in one of these essays, she was an American original. She was less a marquee poet than a force of nature, an imposing woman who gave herself to a variety of aesthetic positions, political causes, and passionate friendships and antagonisms. Gerald Stern recalls being taunted by an audience member when he and Rukeyser read together once and starting to defend himself by saying, "I don't want to be mean," only to hear Rukeyser whisper, "Be mean, be mean." Herzog and Kaufman, English professors at West Chester University and the University of Utah, respectively, gather writings by 37 Rukeyser fans; a number of these pieces are poems, the most luminous of which is Richard Howard's "A Sibyl of 1979," in which he describes being given a computer that had baffled Rukeyser, finding in it some draft phrases she had left there, and making them into his own tribute to her. For larger public and academic libraries.--David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Booknews

This remembrance is comprised of reactions to the life and work of American-Jewish poet, journalist, biographer, political activist and visionary Muriel Rukeyser 1913-1980 as written by scholars, friends, colleagues, students, and contemporary poets. Arranged in five parts<-->poetics of vision; activism and teaching; the body, feminist critique, and the poet as mother; poetry of witness; and remembering Muriel Rukeyser<-->this volume covers aspects of Rukeyser's intellectual, political and passionate life to provide a generous portrait of this remarkable American literary figure. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com

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