Much admired by readers for decades, Alicia Ostriker is celebrated by her peers in fresh and insightful essays

Look Inside


Alicia Ostriker’s artistic and intellectual productions as a poet, critic, and essayist over the past 50 years are protean and have been profoundly influential to generations of readers, writers, and critics. In all her writings, both the feminist and the human engage fiercely with the material and metaphysical world. Ostriker is a poet concerned with questions of social justice, equality, religion, and how to live in a world marked by both beauty and tragedy.

Everywoman Her Own Theology: On the Poetry of Alicia Suskin Ostriker engages Ostriker’s poetry from throughout her career, including her first volume Songs, her award-winning collection The Imaginary Lover, and her more recent work in the collections No Heaven, the volcano sequence, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog, and Waiting for the Light. Like her literary criticism and essays, Ostriker’s poetry explores themes of feminism, Jewish life, family, and social justice.

With insightful essays—some newly written for this collection—poets and literary critics including Toi Derricotte, Daisy Fried, Cynthia Hogue, Tony Hoagland, and Eleanor Wilner illuminate and open new pathways for critical engagement with Alicia Ostriker’s lifetime of poetic work.

Martha Nell Smith is Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland. Coordinator and Executive Editor of the Dickinson Electronic Archives, she serves on the Advisory Board of Harvard University Press’s Emily Dickinson Archive, and is a founding member and president of the Emily Dickinson International Society. Her publications include Emily Dickinson, A User’s Guide and Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson’s Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson.

Julie R. Enszer teaches at the University of Mississippi and is the author of four poetry collections, Avowed, Lilith’s Demons, Sisterhood, and Handmade Love. Her most recent edited volume, The Complete Works of Pat Parker, won a Lambda Literary Award. She edits and publishes Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal.

Praise for The Book of Seventy
“In this passionate, thoughtful collection, Ostriker approaches aging, politics, myth, and sensuality. With wisdom, she lyrically questions the world and the death and beauty that are a part of it.”
American Poet

Praise for the volcano sequence
“It is impossible to decide whether these gorgeous poems are erotic or spiritual. They pour out from under Alicia Ostriker’s scholarship on the Old Testament, but their inspiration is older than that, and newer than that—as if Ariadne had been reborn during World War II, reborn to write poems.”
—Diane Middlebrook

Read: Alicia Ostriker interview on the role and meaning of poetry in Times Union Link | 4/10/2019