The collected works of Adrienne Rich, whose poetry is “distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity” (New York Times).
Adrienne Rich was the singular voice of her generation and one of our most important American poets. She brought discussions of gender, race, and class to the forefront of poetical discourse, pushing formal boundaries and consistently examining both self and society.
This collected volume traces the evolution of her poetry, from her earliest work, which was formally exact and decorous, to her later work, which became increasingly radical in both its free-verse form and feminist and political content. The entire body of her poetry is on display in this vast volume, including the National Book Award–winning Diving Into the Wreck and her prize-winning Atlas of the Difficult World.
The Collected Poems of Adrienne Rich gathers and memorializes all of her boldly political, formally ambitious, thoughtful, and lucid work, the whole of which makes her one of the most prolific and influential poets of our time.
About the Author
Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes a National Book Award for poetry for Tonight, No Poetry Will Serve, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 1994, and a National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for Diving Into the Wreck.
That volume, published in 1973, is considered her masterwork. Ms. Rich’s other volumes of poetry include The Dream of a Common Language, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, An Atlas of the Difficult World, The School Among the Ruins, and Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. Her prose includes the essay collections On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Blood, Bread, and Poetry; an influential essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” and the nonfiction book Of Woman Born, which examines the institution of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. In 2006, Rich was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. In 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award.
"Adrienne Rich's poetry travels multiple paths through the human conditions of love, gender, and history. Always keenly focused, she names social and psychological infractions without sacrificing the search for lyrical and imagistic harmony. Feeling and knowing the true registers of experience, Rich never gives up on the quest for equality and justice. Collected Poems connects the poet's formal and experimental ethos, and we are gifted a magnum opus of poetic inquiry for the twenty-first century." -- Yusef Komunyakaa