Ostriker, Alicia


Like a photon, like a shower
Of yellow flames–
She believes if she could only catch up

-Alicia Ostriker, “A Young Woman, A Tree”

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Listen to Alicia Ostriker’s reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Check out this 2010 interview with Alicia Ostriker about her process of writing “Daffodils”:

How a Poem Happens

Alicia Ostriker’s thirteenth collection of poems, the Book of Seventy, won the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry. Her 1980 anti-war poem sequence The Mother/Child Papers was recently reprinted by the University of Pittsburgh Press. As a critic, Ostriker is the author of Stealing the Language: the Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America and other books on poetry and on the Bible.

Some claim the origin of song
was a war cry
some say it was a rhyme
telling the farmers when to plant and reap
don’t they know the first song was a lullaby
pulled from a mother’s sleep
said the old woman

– Alicia Ostriker, “Song”

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Watch this short NYS Writers Institute video of Alicia Ostriker on being a poet:

Alicia Suskin Ostriker at the NYS Writers Institute in 2015

Alicia Suskin Ostriker, author of fifteen poetry collections, is a two-time finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry for The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 (1999) and The Crack in Everything (1996). Ostriker is also the author of The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011 (2012) and the collection The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog (2014).

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