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Muriel Rukeyser letters to David Posner


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

American poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser was born December 15, 1913, in New York, New York.

She began her five-decade literary career in 1935 when her book of poetry,

Theory of Flight, based on flying lessons she took at Roosevelt Aviation School, was selected for publication and the Yale Younger Poets prize.

Rukeyser's published works include more than a dozen poetry collections that often had themes of social activism or social protest, which reflected her personal involvement with many political causes throughout the world, such as the Spanish Civil War, Vietnam War, and death penalty cases. She died February 12, 1980, in her home city of New York.

American poet David Louis Posner was born August 6, 1921, in New York to Nell and Louis S. Posner.

Although his father was born in Britain, he worked as a lawyer on Wall Street and later became Commissioner of Education for New York City. In 1945, Posner received his B.A. from Kenyon College where he majored in French and in 1947 he received his M.A. in English Literature from Harvard. Posner studied at the Sorbonne, worked for French radio, and pursed an interest in archeology. He published seven books of poetry.

"Muriel Rukeyser" in Literature Resource Center. (accessed October 2008)."David Posner" in Literature Resource Center. (accessed October 2008).

This small collection of letters and miscellaneous items from American poet Muriel Rukeyser to David Posner reflects their shared interests in poetry and spans the dates of 1942 to 1944.

The letters mostly concern planned meetings between Rukeyser and Posner as well as discussion of upcoming events in the poetry world. The earliest dated letter was written in 1942, when Posner was still a student at Kenyon, and it offers encouragement to the young author. The collection also includes a two-stanza autograph poem, "Song," and a longer manuscript copy titled, "The Structure of the Plane." Both fair copy items are signed by Rukeyser and "Song" is inscribed "for David." Additional items in this small collection include a scrap of notes and two clippings.

Box 55, F0833: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, 2008.

Processed and encoded by Christiana Dobrzynski, October 2008. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2008 October 6
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Muriel Rukeyser letters to David Posner, 1942-1944.
Box 55 Folder F0833
Scope and Contents

Includes letters, postcards, manuscripts, clippings.

Physical Description

14 items

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