The Book of Seventy

University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009

 The Book of Seventy

Poems that explore the territory of advancing age—its tragicomedies, its passions, its engagement with the world. 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.


“Here is a hard, obdurate, elusive sort of beauty. Alicia Ostriker is not only one of our very best poets but one of our most crucial.”—Joyce Carol Oates

“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.”—Gerald Stern

“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.”—Jean Valentine

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University of Pittsburgh Press