The Muriel Rukeyser Era
Press release issued: 22 September 2023
edited by Eric Keenaghan and Rowena Kennedy-Epstein
The Muriel Rukeyser Era makes available for the first time a range of Muriel Rukeyser's prose, a rich and diverse archive of political, social, and aesthetic writings. Eric Keenaghan and Rowena Kennedy-Epstein assemble a selection of unpublished and out-of-print texts, demonstrating the diversity, brilliance, and possibilities of mid-twentieth-century women's intellectual life and sociopolitical engagement.
Although primarily known as a poet, Rukeyser produced an expansive and influential body of nonfiction and critical writings. Reflective of a deeply committed thinker, her accessible but philosophically complex prose—including essays, lectures, radio scripts, stories, and reviews—addresses issues related to racial, gender, and class justice, war and war crimes; the prison-industrial complex, Jewish culture and diaspora, motherhood, literature, music, cinema, and translation. Many of the selected texts have been forgotten, have fallen out of print, or were never previously published because of conservative Cold War political and gender orthodoxies. The Muriel Rukeyser Era offers new insight into Rukeyser's radical and strikingly contemporary vision for the role of the writer—especially the woman writer. This selection reveals the centrality of feminism, antifascism, and antiracism to her thinking and thus affirms the resonance and urgency of her work today.
For more information, see the Cornell University Press website.