• Winner of the 1987 William Carlos Williams Award presented by the Poetry Society of America
With The Imaginary Lover, Alicia Suskin Ostriker takes her place among the most striking and original poets whose work is informed by feminist consciousness. Her characterization of the best poetry by women, in the New York Times Book Review, aptly describes this book: “intimate rather than remote, passionate rather than distant, defying divisions between emotion and intellect, private and public, life and art, writer and reader.” To read her poems is to “discover not only more of what it means to be a woman but more of what it means to be human.”
The poems are personal, often intimate; they dare to deal with emotion while managing to avoid sentimentality. . . . The Imaginary Lover is a very human, moving book that invites us to 'join our life with the dangerous life of the other.'
The candor and thoughtfulness of the poems are winning. . . . Even stronger than elegy is Ostriker's tendency to locate a sustaining force for the rest of life—a force that is both passionate and honorable.
Delivers hard personal lyric, often in narrative rhythm: she is more reporter than embroiderer or musician. When the voice of this rational, scholarly woman rises to crescendo, a tide of sweet human emotion lifts the poem into the realm of true experience with Keatsian intensity.
Alicia Suskin Ostriker is a major American poet and critic. She is the author of numerous poetry collections, including, most recently, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979–2011; and The Book of Seventy, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She has received the Paterson Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors. Ostriker teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Drew University and is currently a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.