Everywoman Her Own Theology: An Online Companion

About Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is a poet, literary scholar, and professor emeritus of English at Rutgers University. She is the current Poet Laureate of New York and has authored sixteen books of poetry. Her poetry explores a wide range of interests including feminist thought, gender and Judaism, motherhood, social justice, global politics, and American identity. In an interview with Contemporary Authors, Ostriker similarly described her writing as expansive in nature: “People who do not know my work ask me what I write about. I answer: love, sex, death, violence, family, politics, religion, friendship, painters and painting, the body in sickness and health. Joy and pain. I try not to write the same poem over and over. I try to stretch my own envelope, to write what I am afraid to write.”

Her most recent collection, Waiting for the Light explores vibrant culture of New York City and political violence both at home and abroad. It received the 2017 Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash from the Jewish Book Council, and one reviewer has said of this collection: “Ostriker speaks specifically and perfectly to issues of our time.” She has been a finalist for the National Book Award twice, and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Poetry Society of America.

Not only as a poet, but as a scholar and teacher, her work is committed to interrogating narrative traditions in American and Jewish culture. Her feminist literary scholarship, such as Writing Like a Woman and Stealing the Language, addresses place of the woman poet in American literature from colonial times to present. Other critical works like Feminist Revision and the Bible and The Nakedness of the Fathers explore Midrash, Jewish womanhood, and biblical narrative traditions. 

Lastly, Ostriker is also a visual artist, and has done pen and ink drawings in notebooks all her life. She has given us permission to use some of these drawings throughout the site.

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