This title provides a new perspective on the documentary diversity of Muriel Rukeyser's work and influences. This study of twentieth-century American poet Muriel Rukeyser explores the multiple avenues of her 'poetics of connection' to reveal a profound engagement with the equally intertextual documentary genre. It examines previously overlooked photo narratives, poetry, prose and archival material and demonstrates an enduring dialogue between the poet's relational aesthetics and documentary's similarly interdisciplinary and creative approach to the world. By considering the sources of documentary in Rukeyser's work, the study provides insight into her guiding poetic principles, situating her as a vital figure in the history of twentieth-century American literature and culture, and as a pioneering personality in the development of American Studies. It provides a new, interdisciplinary perspective on a critically neglected author. It examines previously overlooked material, including photo narratives, poetry, prose, and archival material. It highlights Rukeyser's role in the formation of American Studies. It outlines the development of documentary in the 1930s, and its role in the formation of an American literary and cultural aesthetic.
Catherine Gander works in the American and Canadian Studies department of the University of Nottingham.