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.