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Rukeyser’s Difficulty–ALA Conference Session, Chicago, Illinois, May 26, 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022, 4:30--5:50pm, American Literature Association Conference, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois Organized by: Jacqueline Campbell, Princeton University Chair: Vivian Pollak, Washington University “The Promise of the Night-Flowering Worlds,” Trudi Witonsky, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater“‘Not even the bones of what I want to say’: On Muriel Rukeyser and Frances Wickes,” Casey Miller, Eastern Michigan University“Race, Place, and the Politics of Compassion in Muriel Rukeyser’s ‘The Gates’,” Jacqueline Campbell, Princeton University Panel Description For decades, much of Muriel Rukeyser’s writing remained unpublished, unfinished, or lost in the archive. Thanks to the recovery work of scholars such as Rowena Kennedy-Epstein, Eric [...]

2022-05-17T13:18:43+00:00April 13, 2022|Ruke Blog|0 Comments

“What are all his escapes for?”: Making Sense of Muriel Rukeyser’s Houdini

Dear Reader, In what follows, I have tried to offer a careful reading of Muriel Rukeyser’s 1973 version of Houdini: A Musical, published by Paris Press in 2002. This is the version new audiences will soon encounter together during the four public Houdini events sponsored by the Eastern Michigan University Center for Jewish Studies and the English Department this spring. My goal was to strike at some of the play’s most central questions, to pick up on some of the ambiguities and ideas that might appeal to new and not-so-new readers alike. My own reading grew from the question Marco Bone [...]

2022-03-05T16:29:14+00:00March 5, 2022|Ruke Blog|2 Comments

Celebrating Muriel Rukeyser’s 108th Birthday: A Collection of Readings

Enjoy hearing--and viewing--various Muriel Rukeyser poems read, and in one case performed, in the 21st century to celebrate her 108th birthday on December 15, 2021. Submitted readings are from friends, scholars, and admirers of Rukeyser. Thank you to everyone who submitted a reading. Dennis Bernstein reads and explains the opening of "The Gates." Eulalia Basquets reads "Long Past Moncada." Karley Misek reads "Powerplant." Robin Tremblay-McGaw reads "Poem White Page White Page Poem." Charlotte Mandel reads "To be a Jew in the Twentieth Century." Christina-Marie Sears performing "Beast in View" David Villaverde reads "The [...]

2022-01-24T21:34:03+00:00January 18, 2022|Ruke Blog|0 Comments

Susanna Ansorge, Rat Elegy–A Creative Response to Rukeyser’s Elegies

Preface Muriel Rukeyser's Elegies challenges readers with an array of complicated literary devices and historical references as a way of digesting a thoroughly grueling time in world history, as she lived through it. Since the work isn't reflecting on the past, but rather a historical present, Elegies stands as especially relevant for readers experiencing unprecedented times. Even as one of those readers, I still had a lot of difficulty interpreting Rukeyser's ambitious collection. As that's the case, I wanted to emulate her as a way of understanding the work. If I can at least reconstruct how these elegies were written, [...]

2023-09-04T17:25:01+00:00January 18, 2022|Essays, Ruke Blog|0 Comments

Bill Rukeyser, Interviewed by Dennis Bernstein, February 16, 2021, KPFA Flashpoints

Dennis: It’s a pleasure and an honor to welcome William L. Rukeyser, son of the late poet and biographer, Muriel Rukeyser, who we are honoring, studying, remembering, during this extended two-day webinar at Eastern Michigan University.  Eastern Michigan University is creating an archive for the great work of the biographer and poetry of Muriel Rukeyser.  And her son, William, has agreed to talk a little bit about his mom and what it’s like to grow up as the son of a great poet and a visionary.  Dennis: So, welcome, William Rukeyser, to “Flashpoints”, and it is very good to have [...]

2021-06-02T15:22:31+00:00June 2, 2021|Ruke Blog|1 Comment

“Every elegy is the present”: Listening to Muriel Rukeyser

Posted by Katherine McLeod on February 12, 2021 On the night of January 24, 1969, Muriel Rukeyser read from Elegies at a reading that took place in Montreal, Canada. But she didn’t read all of Elegies. She only read “Elegy in Joy” and, before reading it, she commented on the fact that she had never "cut it up" but that she would that night:  Here's one piece of a long poem, it's the last of a group called Elegies which one hardly dares name anything anymore. It's called "Elegy in Joy" and this is just a beginning piece, I wanted [...]

2021-02-15T17:01:56+00:00February 13, 2021|Ruke Blog|0 Comments

Trudi Witonsky and Elisabeth Daumer: A Visit with Louise Kertesz–Pioneer of Rukeyser Studies

When we told Louise she was a pioneer of Rukeyser Studies, she didn’t quite believe us. It took some time to convey to her just how influential her book, The Poetic Vision of Muriel Rukeyser, has been. Published in 1980, it has served as a touchstone for those of us who’d stumbled onto Rukeyser during our student days, and, wondering why no one had told or taught us about this remarkable poet, turned to Louise’s book, the first monograph devoted entirely to a serious discussion of Rukeyser’s sprawling oeuvre and its critical (mis)reception. After its publication, however, Louise disappeared from [...]

2021-02-13T17:33:26+00:00August 11, 2019|Ruke Blog|5 Comments
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