The Mother/Child Papers: With a new preface by the author

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In 1970, as the war in Vietnam was heating up, Ostriker was awaiting the birth of her son. On April 30, President Nixon announced the bombing of Cambodia. On May 14, four students were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University. The poems in this collection confront Ostriker’s  personal tumult  as she considered the world she had brought her son into.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 “Ostriker's work details the achievement of a connection between personal history and public fact as both present themselves to a very intelligent writer . . . Nothing in the novels of Margaret Drabble is as affecting, as convincing, as a few lines of Ostriker's.”
American Poetry Review

“Brava/bravo to University of Pittsburgh Press for reissuing Ostriker's seminal work in the gradual accretion of powerful poetry by women about their bodies, their inner lives, their societal positions. Her feminist affirmation of motherhood comes against the backdrop of protests against the Vietnam War, the murders at Kent State, and the New York Times's revelation of The Pentagon Papers. Nowhere in late twentieth-century belles lettres has the personal inserted itself so meaningfully into the political.”
—Maxine Kumin

Past praise for The Mother/Child Papers
“It is startling to read the early pages of this book: where, before this, was the literature of squalid bliss and righteous woe of taking care of an infant? It is alive in Ostriker . . . one of the most intelligent and lyrical of American poets.”
Iowa Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822960331
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Series: Pitt Poetry Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is the author of eleven previous poetry collections including: No Heaven; the volcano sequence; and The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998. She has received the Paterson Poetry Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. Ostriker has also written nine volumes of poetry criticism. She is Professor Emerita of English at Rutgers University and teaches in the MFA program of Drew University.

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Table of Contents

I Cambodia 1

II Mother/Child 7

III The Spaces 31

Letter to M. 33

Song of the Abandoned One 34

Macbeth and the Kids in the Cabin at Chester 35

Things to Remember of Eve 36

In the Autumn of My Thirty-Seventh Birthday 37

Exile 40

The Spaces 41

Propaganda Poem: Maybe for Some Young Mamas 43

The Leaf Pile 50

The Seven Samurai, The Dolly, and Mary Cassatt 52

The Change 53

One, to Fly 55

In the Dust 56

His Speed and Strength 58

IV This Power 59

One Marries 61

This Power 64

Dream 65

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