The Orgy (Paperback)

An Irish Journey of Passion and Transformation

By Muriel Rukeyser, Sharon Olds (Other)

Wesleyan University Press, 9780963818324, 160pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 1997

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Those who have traveled know the experience of extended time and sharpened perception. Muriel Rukeyser's account of Puck Fair -- the last existing pagan festival of the goat -- captures just that state of consciousness. Set in County Kerry, Ireland, The Orgy evokes this great American poet's journey of sensual and psychological transformation in the midst of a lush account of Irish culture and tradition. With a preface by Sharon Olds.

About the Author

Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) is one of our country's most influential yet overlooked writers. She published fifteen collections of poetry, plays, translations, children's books, and several works of nonfiction. Her "toys of fame" include the Yale Younger Poets Award, the Copernicus Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Shelley Memorial Award. From 1975-1976, she served as president of P.E.N. American Center.

Praise For The Orgy: An Irish Journey of Passion and Transformation

The Orgy is about the author’s own psychological transformation as the place colors and shapes her interior life.” THE WASHINGTON POST

"Haunting. The author may have left a few sore bones behind her in Ireland, where we do not relish having the exact nature and extent of our festivities described in cold print. But she has an honest and inquiring mind. She didn't agree with the Irish woman who thought that, after America, everything in Ireland must look shabby. No, said Muriel Rukeyser, Ireland looks real. This American poet has a quick eye, too, for the things I find I love: the moon over Dublin and the mythic Post Office; the eternal fisherman casting a fly over the River Laune; the fuchsia blossoms that are the 'tears of Kerry.'" NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

In this sensual documentarythe reader is swept from observer into participant in a whole new world.’ ” ADRIENNE RICH

"Beauty and power and imagination.” JOSEPH HELLER

"A true delight." KAY BOYLE

"Brilliant full of vivid language and people half embarrassed, half excited, swept up in a mixture of Guinness and the sheer glamour of a ritual which has come from wilder, pre-Christian times." THE OBSERVER

"The Orgy has enlarged the meaning of 'luminous.'" THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR