The Wooden Bowl

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Sharon Ruetenik

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Poetry. Intrigued by a suggestion of Kennedy Fraser’s that “Women must set aside the bowl they have used to beg for approval and praise,” the poet began to explore the innumerable compromises women have made throughout the centuries in both public and private arenas. And the silence that accompanied these decisions. Ruetenik’s poetry imagines what was left unsaid; she begins and ends with Eve and explores the responses of women in literature, art, and her own family to a world that does not entirely welcome them yet needs and exploits their gifts and strengths. Most importantly Ruetenik’s work examines how women make much of little not through a process of rationalization but through a conviction of what really matters.”These witty, accessible poems are densely textured, succinctly phrased, and rich in metaphor. Many tell old stories from fresh perspectives: Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel from blended mythic and modern viewpoints, Leda’s angle on her doings with that swan, one of Queen Victoria’s pet Pekineses, and an aging Dorothy. One’s pleasure comes from the wise insights in these and other stories but also from the energy generated by the poet’s mastery of poetic strategies. Read and enjoy”—Graham Duncan.


Sharon Ruetenik servers as ESL and Writing Center Coordinator for SUNY Delhi, New York. In addition, she works as an adjunct instructor teaching composition and literature classes. Ruetenik’s poetry has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Phoebe, New Press, and Out of the Catskills and Just Beyond. She has been awarded residencies at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development’s Platte Clove site and the Constance Saltonstall Colony for the Arts.

Author City: DELHI, NY USA

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