Jan Heller Levi’s third collection of poems, Orphan, was published in January 2014 by Alice James Books. She is the editor of A Muriel Rukeyser Reader and is currently writing a biography of Rukeyser, forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf, with Christoph Keller. She teaches at Hunter College in New York City.
Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser
with a contribution by Christoph Keller and Jan Heller Levi
First published by New Directions in 1949, Muriel Rukeyser’s Elegies were written over a seven-year period from the end of the Spanish Civil War, through World War II, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, to the start of the Cold War. Both an homage to Rilke’s Duino Elegies and a spiritual reckoning that is particularly resonant today, these poems present no angelic orders, only the difficulties of living in the modern world, the depths of shipwreck, and “Love that gives us ourselves, in the world known to all.”