Synopses & Reviews
"In this book Adrienne Rich continues her conscious effort to implement her dream of a common language. Her poems make our male-oriented speech convey the full significance of the abuses or contributions of women, and expose 'amnesia-language,'
her term for history which leaves no record of woman's point of view. This collection contains fine tributes to Emily Dickinson, Willa Gather, Mary Colter, and the suffragist leaders, often in the context of meditations on present friends. Rich is at her best in the elegiac mode, though her power to control wrath and make it effective is also great. Here she seems largely concerned to reconcile these two attitudes—'anger and tenderness: my selves' which she now views as 'angels, not polarities.'" Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"In this collection, Ms. Rich has shown both a deep knowledge of her subject, women, and a fine mastery of her craft, timeless contemporary poetry. Above all, she has not abandoned the struggle of 'trying to live/in a clear-headed tenderness' and translating her efforts into critical signposts for those who follow." Kansas City Star
"We are in the presence here of a major American poet whose voice at mid-century in her own life is increasingly marked by moral passion."--
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.