Alicia Ostriker seizes the opportunity to take us where too few poets have been able to take us: into a domain of what our fabulists like to call the “golden years.” as we live longer, we become inevitably curious about the actual texture of these late years, curious about what happens in the soul. Out of that curiosity is a new kind of poetry born, an elderstile that has passion and irony, wisdom, folly, clarity and tenderness. In her keen engagement with the self and the world, Ostriker offers us a voice and a perspective that explore the territory of seventy and beyond.
Alicia Ostriker is a fool for beauty. She says so on 'West Fourth Street.' She is also a fool for wisdom but, like a smart sage, she does it slant. I'm shocked by these poems, shocked by how good they are. How many skins has she shed to get here? Just take a look at a short poem called 'Dear God' or 'Born in the USA' or fifteen others. Amazing.
"The Book of Seventy will speak to everyone: Alicia Ostriker's honest voice, her humor, her wisdom, her gutsiness; her scholarly, longing mind; her knowing body: 'my mind is a cervix / I can imagine anything'; and from the first page to the last, her long-recognized courage in facing down—even welcoming—just about everything."
Succeeds in making the 'matter' of aging—bodily fatigue and mental dismay, vanishing beloveds and the hazards of longevity—fascinating and deeply moving. This is our prospect, and Ostriker offers her poems to be of service but not merely to console. . . . Am I looking for guidance through the harrowing of age and ambivalent imperial citizenship? You could do no better than to seek out Alicia Ostriker.
In this passionate, thoughtful collection, Ostriker approaches aging, politics, myth, and sensuality. With wisdom, she lyrically questions the world and the death and beauty that are a part of it.
I found these poems to get stronger, stranger, more religious and more beautiful with each reading. I urge you to spend time with them and 'drink their bliss.'
There's a forthrightness to even the most difficult realizations in Ostriker's work, born of fidelity to craft and emotional truth, making them not only welcome, but necessary. . . . Through the elastic instrument of one voice as it grapples, ponders, digs, almost revels in ndissonance, and ultimately mellows, these poems mae a kind of tough peace.
Showcases the wisdom [Ostriker] has gained as both a poet and a person.
Ostriker takes us into a domain of what some like to call the 'golden yerars.' As we live longer, we become inevitably curious about the actual texture of these late years, curious about what happens in the soul. Out of that curiosity is born a new kind of poetry. Ostriker offers us a voice and a perspective that explore the territory of seventy and beyond.
Many of the poems in this book fill me with awe and pleasure. . . . Readings these poems felt like having a conversation with a friend who is witty, learned, bawdy, compassionate, and a hell of a good poet. If this is 'The Book of Seventy,' bring on 'The Book of Eighty.'
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.