By Professor Marianne DeKoven
With shock and deep sadness, we mourn the sudden death in January of Lexi Rudnitsky, a first-year graduate student in our Department. She was here so briefly that none of us got to know her very well, certainly not as well as we wanted to, but those of us who did know her will never forget her brilliance, energy, wit, generosity, forthright honesty, and superb writing. Her joy in life was everywhere apparent, in her presence, her writing, her relations with others in the Graduate Program, and especially in her baby Samuel, who was born last October. She was a gifted poet – her first book of poetry had just been accepted for publication when she died; it will appear in the fall. Her essays on Sylvia Plath, written for my class, were stunningly brilliant. She was planning to write her dissertation on Muriel Rukeyser; an article of hers on Rukeyser has just been accepted, posthumously, by Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. The loss to her family, as was apparent at the memorial we held for her on February 18, is beyond imagining. Her husband, the writer Alexander Stille, knows a great deal about her project on Rukeyser, and plans to publish a version of what she would have written. We miss her terribly and will always remember her.
According to her obituary, remembrances may be made to the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project, c/o Wainwright Bank & Trust Co., One Church St., Watertown, MA 02472, a charitable foundation in her name to support young women poets.
An Informal Tribute to Lexi Rudnitsky