A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Adrienne Rich reads her poem “What Kind of Times Are These.” Filmed at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.
Adrienne Cecile Rich (1929 – 2012) was an American poet and essayist who was an important leader in the anti-war, civil rights, feminist, and gender identity movements. Her poetry was recognized early in her career when A Change of World was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and published when she was only twenty one years old. Many other collections of poetry followed, including two of her most famous: Diving into the Wreck and The Dream of a Common Language. She won many important prizes such as the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1986) and a MacArthur Fellowship (1994). Rich continues to be one of the most widely read and influential poets of our time and is credited with bringing the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse. In 1997, she famously declined the National Medal of Arts, protesting the vote by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
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