Muriel Rukeyser 1913–1980
American poet, biographer, translator, novelist, dramatist, scriptwriter, and author of children's books.
Although Rukeyser was for some time known mainly for the political nature of her poems, in recent years critics have begun to address the aesthetic qualities of her work. Her career, which began with the publication of Theory of Flight, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1935, has been marked by a growing poetic refinement and the development of an intensely personal philosophy of life.
The thematic and stylistic changes that evolved over the course of Rukeyser's career dramatized her passionate, Whitmanesque quest for self-unification. What began as strictly political and impersonal grew into a subjective experience of the social, personal, and physical, as well as the political self.
(See also CLC, Vols. 6, 10, 15; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 5-8, rev. ed., Vols. 93-96 [obituary]; and Something about the Author, Vol. 22.)