Alicia Suskin Ostriker is that rare combination, a writer equally admired as poet and critic. The variety of subjects in Green Age is characteristic of her writing: from the opening poem, “Fifty,” funny, courageous, and defiant, to a set of birthday poems for a grown daughter; from emulations of the Persian mystic Rumi, to the provactive “Meditation in Seven Days,” whose central assumption is that we may find in the Bible traces of a Canaanite goddess whose worship was forbidden with the advent of patriarchal monotheism. But if her subjects may seem formidable, her poems are not. Ostriker is accessible, witty, daring, and humane, and she has become one of the most praised poets of her generation.
Ostriker reminds poets that 'it is [their] business to look into their own souls' and describe [their visions] for all of us.
Ostriker leaps into her subjects with bristling intelligence, fierce humanity, and wit.
Her spirit encompasses the exuberance of a girl, the vulnerability of someone in love, and wisdom of a mother who can allow her childern to leave home.
Ostriker faces the tests that God and the world present and comes away with an affirmative vision; this is as unusual as it is welcome in these times, when poetry too often stops short of both.
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.