“Some stories have endings, and some do not have endings, at least not yet. The story of this volume has no ending yet.”
– Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker is a vital force in American poetry – prolific writer and critic, revered teacher, activist, biblical scholar, and tireless advocate for the recognition and advancement of women writers. Of her place in American letters, the writer Joyce Carol Oates noted, “Alicia Ostriker has become one of those brilliantly provocative and imaginatively gifted contemporaries whose iconoclastic expression, whether in prose or poetry, is essential to our understanding of our American selves.”
Her featured book of poetry, “The Volcano and After,” is a bountiful collection of new and selected works from six earlier books spanning nearly 20 years – from her middle 60s to early 80s. Full of passion, surprise, wit and evolving wisdom, her poems wrestle with aging, spirituality, mother-daughter entanglements, personal and political turbulence, the search for truth and celebration of beauty. In the Whitman tradition, she is delightfully wild and unpredictable, and reliably spot-on. But the great reward of this deeply rewarding collection is her boundless vigor, how she refuses to let darkness consume the light. After more than 50 years in literature and academia, she is, as ever, a live wire.
Author of 17 books of poetry, Alicia has twice been nominated for a National Book Award, has twice won the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry, and has received fellowships from the NEA, and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, among other honors. A distinguished Professor Emerita of Rutgers University, she is currently the New York State Poet Laureate and a Chancellor Emerita of the Academy of American Poets.