Collected Poems: 1950-2012
Adrienne Rich whose poetry is "distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity" (The New York Times) was the singular voice of her generation. 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 volume traces the evolution of Rich's poetry, from her earliest, formally exact and decorous work to her later poems, which became increasingly radical in both form and content. Displaying the entire body of Rich's poetry, The Collected Poems gathers and commemorates all Rich's boldly political, formally ambitious, thoughtful and lucid work.
Shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 2017
"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
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.