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Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy’s novels have become modern classics of feminist literature, while her poems and liturgy have transformed Jewish prayer. Piercy began writing at fifteen and was the first in her family to go to college. She was briefly active in the radical Students for a Democratic Society, but left out of frustration with the group’s negative attitudes towards women and Judaism, shifting her activism to the emerging women’s movement. Her award-winning novels used experimental techniques as well as settings ranging from the French Resistance to the far future to explore feminist characters and concerns. In saying kaddish for her mother, who died in 1981, Piercy was drawn back to Jewish practice and began writing poems and prayers exploring a feminist Judaism. Piercy’s liturgical writing, which has become an essential part of many Jewish prayer books, culminated in her 1999 publication of The Art of Blessing the Day, a collection of poems on Jewish themes. Piercy has served as poetry editor for both Tikkun and Lilith magazines and continues to teach and lecture widely.

Piercy, Marge - still image [media]
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Marge Piercy's life as a poet and novelist has been informed by her political activism, her feminism and her Judaism. Her work—which includes fifteen books of poetry, sixteen novels and the memoir Sleeping with Cats—is marked by humanity and empathy, focusing frequently on the disenfranchised and the alienated in society.

Institution: Sylvia Edwards, Longview Community College

Date of Birth
March 31, 1936
Place of Birth
Detroit, Michigan
Occupations

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Marge Piercy." (Viewed on October 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/piercy-marge>.

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