Tuesday, April 08, 2008

In Memoriam: Rochelle Ratner, 1948-2008

I was shocked the other week to learn that Rochelle Ratner died. I had been in email correspondence with Rochelle as a result of reviewing a number of her books for Galatea Resurrects. You can see my reviews of her work here, here, and here. A few months ago, she sent me a copy of a book of reviews that she had published from the 1970s. As women’s writing in that time period is one of my key interests academically, I was grateful for her gift.

As with many acquaintances, I did not know that she was ill, and I was shocked by her death.

This obituary was distributed by her latest publish, Marsh Hawk Press. At the end are links to her writing and website, www.rochelleratner.com. I miss her and the world misses her. I hope you will join me in remembering her work.

Our friend and colleague, Rochelle Ratner, passed away on Monday, March 31, 2008, She was 59 years old. She was born and raised in Atlantic City, but came to live in New York City as an aspiring writer in her early twenties. She published more than twenty-three books of poetry and fiction and was afforded many honors. Her most recent book, Balancing Acts, was selected as a Favorite New Title for National Poetry Month. The honor was announced on the day of her death.
Her childhood experiences in Atlantic City, N.J. played a large role in much of her writing. The landscape and tenor of the deteriorating resort in the 1950s and 1960s, before gambling was legalized, form the backdrop for her first novel, Bobby's Girl, as well as the poems in Sea Air In A Grave Ground Hog Turns Toward. The sea and beach have served as inspiration for other books of poetry, including Pirate's Song, and Combing the Waves.
Over the years her writing expanded to include short stories, memoirs, articles, criticism, visual work, and editing, with poetry remaining a firm, and continual, base. [For detailed information on her life and writings click here.]
She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Thorp, and by her father Herman Ratner. Her internment was April 3, 2008 in Westerley, Rhode Island.
For details on her life and publishing click here

1 comment:

Morgan H said...

I think I went to high school with Rochelle; I would have been two or three years behind her at ACHS. While acknowledging her talent and work is absolutely appropriate, this really made me sad. We need more south Jersey voices, not fewer. May she rest in peace.