Fun Facts Friday: Muriel Rukeyser

December 15, 2023

Muriel Rukeyser (15 December, 1913 – 12 February, 1980) was an American writer, biographer, and political activist. She is know for her poems on social justice, Judaism, equality, and feminism.

Fun Facts Friday: Muriel Rukeyser
Books by Muriel Rukeyser*

Fun facts about Muriel Rukeyser:

  1. Muriel Rukeyser was born in New York City to Lawrence and Myra Rukeyser. She went to a private school in The Bronx and graduated from Vassar College.
  2. In Vassar she was the literary editor of the Student Review, a leftist undergraduate journal.
  3. Ms. Rukeyser covered the 1932 Scottsboro trial in Alabama, where nine African American youths were accused of raping two white girls. The experience was the basis for her poem The Trial and, according to Wolfgang Saxon’s obituary, may have been the beginning of her commitment to the “unjustly condemned.”
  4. The violence and injustice which Ms. Rukeyser witnessed around the world and in her home, country affected her tremendously. she
  5. Her first collection of poems, Theory of Flight, published in 1935 won the Yale Younger Poet Prize.
  6. Ms. Rukeyser worked as a journalist writing for many publications and covering many international events such as the Berlin Olympics and the Spanish Civil War. The latter was the basis for her book Mediterranean.
  7. Muriel Rukeyser was very active in PEN America, a nonprofit raising awareness for the protection of free expression. She was elected as president of PEN in 1975.
  8. She married painter Glynn Collins in the 1960s. the couple had a child, William, who was born out of wedlock since the marriage lasted six weeks.
  9. She wrote the poem The Gates in South Korea where she was protesting the imprisonment of poet Kim Chi Ha.
  10. Ms. Rukeyser is considered to be an important figure in feminism, as well as poetry for her innovative work.

Books by Muriel Rukeyser*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

Sources:

The Muriel Rukeyser Living Archive

Muriel Rukeyser | The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Muriel Rukeyser 1913 – 1980 | poets.org

Muriel Rukeyser | Wikipedia

Muriel Rukeyser | Poetry Foundation

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Fun Facts Friday: Muriel Rukeyser
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Fun Facts Friday: Muriel Rukeyser
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Muriel Rukeyser (15 December, 1913 – 12 February, 1980) was an American writer, biographer, and political activist. She is know for her poems on social justice, Judaism, equality, and feminism.
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