Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980). Born in New York City, Rukeyser attended Vassar and Columbia, then spent a short time at Roosevelt Aviation School, which no doubt helped shape her first published volume of poetry, Theory of Flight (1935). In the early 1930s, she joined Elizabeth Bishop, Mary McCarthy, and Eleanor Clark in founding a literary magazine that challenged the policies of the Vassar Review. (The two magazines later merged.)
A social activist, Rukeyser witnessed the Scottsboro trials (where she was one of the reporters arrested by authorities) in 1933. She visited suffering tunnel workers in West Virginia (1936) and went to Hanoi to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
She gave poetry readings across the United States and received several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Copernicus Award. Waterlily Fire: Poems 1935-1962 appeared in 1962, and her later work was collected in 29 Poems (1970). The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser appeared in 1978. Her only novel, The Orgy, appeared in 1965.