Search - List of Books by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Suskin Ostriker (born November 11, 1937) is an American poet and scholar who writes Jewish feminist poetry. Ostriker was born in Brooklyn, New York to David Suskin and Beatrice Linnick Suskin. Her mother read her Shakespeare, and Alicia began writing poems at an early age.
Total Books: 18
Ostriker went to high school at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in 1955. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University (1959), and an M.A. (1961) and Ph.D. (1964) from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Her doctoral dissertation, on the work of William Blake, became her first book, Vision and Verse in William Blake (1965). She began her teaching career at Rutgers University in 1965 and has served as a professor of English there since 1972. In 1969 her first collection of poems, Songs, was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Her fourth book of poems, The Mother-Child Papers (1980), a feminist classic, was inspired by the birth of her son during the Vietnam War; throughout, she juxtaposes musings about motherhood with musings about war.
Ostriker's books of nonfiction explore many of the same themes manifest in her verse. They include Writing Like A Woman (1983), which explores the poems of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, H.D., May Swenson and Adrienne Rich, and The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions (1994), which approaches the Torah with a midrashic sensibility. She wrote the introduction to the collected works of Puerto Rican poet Giannina Braschi entitled Empire of Dreams (1994).
Ostriker’s sixth collection of poems, The Imaginary Lover (1986), won the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America. The Crack in Everything (1996) was a National Book Award finalist, and won the Paterson Poetry Award and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award. The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 was also a 1998 National Book Award finalist.
Ostriker’s most recent nonfiction book is Dancing at the Devil’s Party (2000), where she examines the work of poets from Walt Whitman to Maxine Kumin. Early in the introduction to the book, she disagrees with W. H. Auden’s assertion that poetry makes nothing happen. Poetry, Ostriker writes, "can tear at the heart with its claws, make the neural nets shiver, flood us with hope, despair, longing, ecstasy, love, anger, terror [.]”
Alicia is married to the noted astronomer Jeremiah Ostriker who taught at Princeton University (1971—2001). She currently teaches poetry in New England College's Low-Residency MFA Program.