Elevate Difference

Reviews of University of Pittsburgh Press

The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser

Before there was Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, there was Muriel Rukeyser. Before there were the Beats, there was Muriel Rukeyser. As Anne Sexton once pointed out, Rukeyser was the “mother of us all.” This is why a collection of her work is so important. Despite Rukeyser’s stature, and her prodigious output, she is not as often read or taught as her better known literary progeny. Furthermore, some of Rukeyser’s prime writing years were during the era of New Criticism, when politically charged poetry was not in vogue.

Elusive Equality: Gender, Citizenship, and the Limits of Democracy in Czechoslovakia, 1918-1950

Melissa Feinberg’s must-read new book, Elusive Equality, chronicles in rich and sometimes dramatic detail the fascinating, though frequently distressing, events that marked Czech feminists’ struggle to implement the radical ideas of equality on which the Czechoslovak Republic was founded after the end of World War I.

Domain of Perfect Affection

The title of Robin Becker’s new book is contained in the last line of “Salon,” where the speaker’s mother goes for her weekly respite. In this “domain of perfect affection,” _ … my mother attends to the lifelong business of revealing and withholding, careful to frame each story while Vivienne lacquers each nail and then inspects each slender finger … Such delicate observations permeate the straightforward observations throughout the collection. Few poets achieve this mastery: Becker makes everyday observations, everyday knowledge, extraordinary.