New York, NY (November 18, 2013)—During the month of December, poetry organizations and publishers will mark Muriel Rukeyser’s centenary with three public events in New York City that celebrate the life and work of the poet.
Rukeyser, who was born in New York City on December 15, 1913, authored more than 35 books of poetry, drama, and prose. Her first, Theory of Flight, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 1935. Her subsequent books of poetry would be inspired by certain events she witnessed, including the Scottsboro trial in Alabama, the Gauley Bridge tragedy in West Virginia, and the civil war in Spain. Her writing became a platform for her political activism.
About her work, the poet Adrienne Rich once wrote, “Muriel Rukeyser's poetry is unequalled in the twentieth-century United States in its range of reference, its generosity of vision, and its energy... She pushes us, readers, writers, and participants in the life of our time, to enlarge our sense of what poetry is about in the world, and of the place of feelings and memory in politics.”
Rukeyser died in New York City on February 12, 1980.
Thursday, December 5, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Muriel Rukeyser Centenary Celebration: A Life in Poetry
Poets and stars from other disciplines will offer readings from Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry (Paris Press, 1996) and poems, and reflect on how Rukeyser’s writing impacted their own work and lives.
Featuring readings and reflections by Jen Benka, Kate Clinton, Jan Freeman, Carol Gilligan, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Gerald Stern, and others.
Presented by Paris Press; cosponsored by the NYU Creative Writing Program, the Jewish Women's Archive, and the Academy of American Poets
Location: NYU School of Law, Greenberg Lounge, 40 Washington Square South
Friday, December 13, 6:00 p.m.
Muriel Rukeyser at 100
An in-depth conversation about how new scholarship and recovery of Rukeyser's work is essential to our own moment with Rowena Kennedy-Epstein, Nicole Cooley, Eric Keenaghan, Anne Herzog, Jan Heller Levi, and Ammiel Alcalay.
Presented by the PhD program in English, the Feminist Press, and the Center for the Study of Women & Society, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Location: CUNY's Center for the Humanities, 365 Fifth Avenue, the Skylight Room (9100)
Saturday, December 14, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Muriel Rukeyser Centennial Celebration
Readings and conversations with numerous poets, including Ana Bozicevic, Nicole Cooley, Jan Freeman, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Kimiko Hahn, Patricia Spears Jones, Christoph Keller, Rowena Kennedy-Epstein, Joan Larkin, Jan Heller Levi, Anne Marie Macari, Donna Masini, Jena Osman, Alicia Ostriker, William L. Rukeyser, Gerald Stern, and Brian Teare.
Presented by the Academy of American Poets and Poets House, cosponsored by the Poetry Society of America
Location: Poets House, 10 River Terrace