Introduction Waste/Archives/Feminism Among all the waste there are the intense stories and tellers of stories --Muriel Rukeyser, "Letter to the Front" (1944) In a letter to Denise Levertov in 1965, Muriel Rukeyser writes, "I feel like being fat is a visible sign of my dark side." Levertov responds by qualifying, "You actually give the impression of lioness grandeur, of hugeness, but not of ugly fatness." When I first read this in my early twenties, I was struck by the wicked perniciousness of sexism--that two of the twentieth century's most exciting and radical women poets would spend time talking about their [...]
Muriel Rukeyser, Strength and Weakness by Carolyn S. Stroebe, Ph.D., is available on Amazon in paperback. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WZ8XLPT and e-book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WJTKJ3T
The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser, edited by Janet E. Kaufman and Anne F. Herzog, were published in 2005 by the University of Pittsburg Press. To order, go to: https://upittpress.org/books/9780822959243/
Professor Keenaghan Fall 2019 Note: Course assignments are the product of extensive intellectual labor; sharing them with others is a significant act of generosity. Please acknowledge Eric Keenaghan's assignment should you use it in your own teaching, research, and writing. To cite it: Eric Keenaghan. "Final Project: The Lives of Muriel Rukeyser." Muriel Rukeyser: A Living Archive, https://murielrukeyser.emuenglish.org/2020/09/07/aeng-awss-368-the-lives-of-muriel-rukeyser/ Final Project Specs and Instruction OVERVIEW The final project for our course provides an opportunity to develop a sustained engagement, in either an academic or creative form, with one primary literary text by Muriel Rukeyser. This is a culmination of our semester-long [...]
Professor Eric Keenaghan Fall 2019 Note: Syllabi are the product of extensive intellectual labor; sharing them with others is a significant act of generosity. Please acknowledge Eric Keenaghan's syllabus should you use it in your own teaching, research, and writing. Course Description Twentieth-century artist Muriel Rukeyser (born 1913, died 1980) believed that the purpose of art was, as she wrote in The Life of Poetry (1949), to bring its creators and audiences “toward the most human.” She was always activist minded, though she tried to avoid categorical definitions of her politics and most aspects of her identity. The few identities [...]
For instructive, beautifully illustrated articles on the acquisition of Monet's Waterlilies by the Museum of Modern Art and their destruction in a fire, see the following articles in Life: “Old Master’s Modern Heirs,” Life December 2, 1957, pp. 94-99. Read this magazine. “Fiery Peril in a Showcase of Modern Art," Life April 28, 1958, 53-56. Read this magazine.
The time of this poem is the period in New York City from April, 1958, when I witnessed the destruction of Monet's Waterlilies by fire at the Museum of Modern Art, to the present moment. The two spans of time assumed are the history of Manhattan Island and my lifetime on the island. I was born in an apartment house that had as another of its tenants the notorious gangster Gyp the Blood. Nearby was Grant's Tomb and the grave of the Amiable Child. This child died very young when this part of New York was open country. The place [...]
On April 10, 1964, Muriel Rukeyser participated, via telephone conferencing, in a course, "American Life as Seen by Contemporary Writers," which was offered, simultaneously, in six colleges (Stephens College, Drury College, Langston University, Morehouse College, Southern Illinois University, and Tougaloo College). Offered at each college and co-taught by collaborating teachers at each institution, the course brought together students, teachers, and writers through the use of telephone networking, an innovative technology at the time. During her telephone interview with students from the course, Rukeyser read and discussed three of her poems: "Gauley Bridge," from Book of the Dead; "Double Dialogue: Homage [...]