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Muriel Rukeyser: The Contemporary Reviews, 1935-1980 is an open access bibliography with electronic links when available. It documents the reception of sixteen books of poetry and five books of prose, from Theory of Flight (1935) to The Collected Poems (1978). A set of “Additional Notices” includes reviews that are less tethered to individual publications, such as “Grandeur and Misery of a Poster Girl,” which appeared in the Partisan Review in the fall of 1943. The bibliography excludes reviews of Rukeyser’s children’s books, of her 1945 play The Middle of the Air, and of her translations. Prominent reviewers include Horace Gregory, Louise Bogan, F. O. Matthiessen, William Carlos Williams, Alfred Kazin, Josephine Miles, May Swenson, and Langston Hughes. Overall, the bibliography clarifies Rukeyser’s place in twentieth-century American literary history and revivifies her poetic presence.

Vivian Pollak is a professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches courses in American literature and culture with an emphasis on the fiction and poetry of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Recent courses include White American Masculinities from Poe to Fitzgerald; American Women Writers and Modernism; and American Women Poets and the Trouble with Normal. She has published six books: Dickinson The Anxiety of Gender (1984); A Poet’s Parents: The Courtship Letters of Emily Norcross and Edward Dickinson (1988); New Essays on Henry James’s ‘Daisy Miller’ and ‘The Turn of the Screw’ (1992); The Erotic Whitman (2000); A Historical Guide to Emily Dickinson (2004); and Our Emily Dickinsons: American Women Poets and the Intimacies of Difference (2017). She is a founding board member of the Emily Dickinson International Society and currently serves on the board of ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. She met Muriel Rukeyser on a dark and stormy night in 1976 and has been thinking about her ever since.

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Washington University in St. Louis


Saint Louis, Missouri


Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Literature in English, North America | Poetry



8/2/20 - typographical corrections

Muriel Rukeyser : The Contemporary Reviews, 1935-1980