Muriel Rukeyser

1913–1980
Muriel Rukeyser

A model of the poet as social activist, Muriel Rukeyser was born into an affluent Jewish family in New York City. While her earlier work shows the influence of W.H. Auden in its intricate rhyming and regular meter, she later wrote more freely, famously declaring in a 1968 poetic manifesto “No more masks! No more mythologies!” Apart from her advocacy for the disadvantaged, she reflected a great range of interests, including science, in her writing, and in the 1960s and 70s became a favorite of the anti-war movement and of feminists.

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Savannah Smith
2016 MT POL Champion