Eric Keenaghan

Eric Keenaghan is associate professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY. His work focuses primarily on modernist and Cold War poets who have much to teach us about American political life and history, often with lessons directly related to our understandings of gender and sexuality. He is the author of Queering Cold War Poetry (Ohio State University Press). Since publishing that project, poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser has played a significant part in his work, His essays on her forgotten, often unpublished, texts have appeared in the Journal of Narrative Theory, Textual Practice, and Feminist Modernist Studies. As an accompaniment for his essay in that last journal, he also recovered Rukeyser’s suppressed feminist essay “Many Keys,” from 1957. For years, he has been working on recovering some of her other lost works—plays, essays, film scripts, autofiction and other stories. Alongside a constellation of other writers ranging from Walter Lowenfels and Kenneth Patchen to John Wieners and Diane di Prima, Rukeyser also has found her way into the two critical monographs he has been developing for a long while now—one called “The Impersonal Is Political,” on activist-poets who were influenced by modernism and associated with the New Left; and the other called “Life, Love, and War,” on anarchist pacifism, antifascism, and twentieth-century American poetry.

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