A poem by this poet

Adrienne Rich


One of her generation’s most distinguished and accomplished poets, Adrienne Rich was an extremely influential and important voice in the field of feminist and lesbian studies. She authored more than twenty volumes of poetry and prose, including several volumes of essays and a groundbreaking, book-length study of motherhood entitled Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (1976). Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1929, Rich first achieved recognition in 1951 with the publication of A Change of World, which was chosen by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Award. In his preface to the volume, Auden praised Rich’s poetry for its formalism, restraint, elegance, and precision. In her later poetry, however, Rich broke away from these traditional poetic standards as she embraced a more experimental form, as well as more politically and socially conscious themes. Her 1978 volume, The Dream of a Common Language, is recognized as a seminal text for any discussion of lesbian feminist poetry and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. Rich’s numerous awards and grants include two Guggenheim fellowships, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry, a Fund for Human Dignity Award from the National Gay Task Force, a National Poetry Association Award, the first Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Robert Frost Silver Medal from the Poetry Society of America and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She also received the National Book Award in 1974 for Diving into the Wreck: Poems, 1971-1972, which she accepted together with Alice Walker and Audre Lorde in the name of all women who have been silenced in literary culture. Rich was awarded the Bollingen Prize in February 2003.