Rich, Adrienne

Rich, Adrienne

▪ American poet
in full  Adrienne Cecile Rich 
born May 16, 1929, Baltimore, Md., U.S.

      American poet, scholar, teacher, and critic whose many volumes of poetry trace a stylistic transformation from formal, well-crafted but imitative poetry to a more personal and powerful style.

      Rich attended Radcliffe College (B.A., 1951), and before her graduation her poetry was chosen by W.H. Auden (Auden, W H) for publication in the Yale Younger Poets series. The resulting volume, A Change of World (1951), reflected her mastery of the formal elements of poetry and her considerable restraint. The Diamond Cutters and Other Poems (1955) was followed by Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law: Poems 1954–1962 (1963), published long after her earlier volumes. This third collection exhibited a change in style, a movement away from the restrained and formal to a looser, more personal form. In the mid-1950s Rich began to date her poems to give them a historical context. Her fourth volume, Necessities of Life: Poems 1962–1965 (1966), was written almost entirely in free verse.

      In 1966 Rich separated from her husband (who committed suicide in 1970). She moved in with her partner, novelist Michelle Cliff, in 1976. Throughout the 1960s and '70s Rich's increasing commitment to the women's movement and to a lesbian and feminist aesthetic politicized much of her poetry. Leaflets: Poems 1965–1968 (1969) includes a number of translations of poetry from other languages as well as a series of poems echoing the Middle Eastern ghazal genre. Such collections as Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971–1972 (1973; National Book Award) and The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974–1977 (1978) express anger at the societal conception of womanhood and further articulate Rich's lesbian identity. Her later volumes A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978–1981 (1981), An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988–1991 (1991), and Dark Fields of the Republic: Poems 1991–1995 (1995) pay tribute to early feminists and admonish the reader to recall the lessons of history, often through the use of different voices.

      In such later collections as Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995–1998 (1999), Fox: Poems 1998–2000 (2001), and The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000–2004 (2004), Rich turned her gaze to social problems as diverse as cell phone usage and the Iraq War, using forms more elliptical and fragmented than those present in her earlier work. The poems in Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth (2007) continue to experiment with form and include more reflective passages on age and dying with Rich's sharp observations on the cultural climate of the day. Selections from her body of work were published in Collected Early Poems 1950–1970 (1993) and Selected Poems 1950–1995 (1996).

      Rich also wrote several books of criticism. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (1976) combines scholarly research with personal reflections on being a mother, while On Lies, Secrets, and Silence (1979) traces history through musings on Rich's own various incarnations. In Blood, Bread, and Poetry (1986), What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (1993), and Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations (2001), Rich addressed many of the problems plaguing humanity, as well as the role of her art form in addressing them.

      Rich turned down the National Medal of the Arts in 1997, publicly claiming that the politics of the Bill Clinton (Clinton, Bill) administration conflicted with her ideas about art. She was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 2003. Rich taught at numerous universities across the United States, including Stanford and Cornell.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • RICH, ADRIENNE — (1929– ), U.S. poet. Rich was the daughter of a Jewish father who distanced himself from Judaism,   and a gentile mother. Her Jewishness, and her response to it, inform much of the poignancy of her poems about claiming a heritage. No less… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Rich,Adrienne — Rich (rĭch), Adrienne. Born 1929. American poet and essayist whose works, notably Diving Into the Wreck (1973), concern radical feminism, lesbianism, and political activism. * * * …   Universalium

  • Rich, Adrienne — (b. 1929)    American poet. Her first book of verse, A Change of World, was chosen by W. H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Award. Later she was Phi Beta Kappa poet at William and Mary College, Swathmore College, and Harvard. Her work includes… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Rich, Adrienne (Cecile) — born May 16, 1929, Baltimore, Md., U.S. U.S. poet, scholar, and critic. She was a student at Radcliffe College when her poems were chosen for publication in the Yale Younger Poets series; the resulting volume, A Change of World (1951), reflected… …   Universalium

  • Rich, Adrienne (Cecile) — (16 may. 1929, Baltimore, Md. EE.UU.). Poeta, crítica y académica estadounidense. Mientras estudiaba en Radcliffe College sus poemas fueron seleccionados para ser publicados en la colección de poetas jóvenes de Yale; en ese libro, titulado A… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Adrienne Rich — Rich (right), with writer Audre Lorde (left) and Meridel Le Sueur (middle) in Austin Texas, 1980 Born Adrienne Cecile Rich May 16, 1929 (1929 05 16 …   Wikipedia

  • Adrienne Rich — Rich (dcha.), con las escritoras Audre Lorde (izq.) y Meridel Le Sueur (centro) en Austin, Texas, 1980 Adrienne Cecile Rich (16 de mayo de 1929, Baltimore, Maryland), poeta, intelectual, crítica y activista le …   Wikipedia Español

  • Rich — /rich/, n. 1. Adrienne, born 1929, U.S. poet and feminist. 2. a male given name, form of Richard. * * * (as used in expressions) Rich Adrienne Cecile Rich Buddy Bernard Rich * * * …   Universalium

  • Adrienne Rich — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rich. Adrienne Rich née le 16 mai 1929 à Baltimore dans le Maryland est une poètesse des États Unis de la fin du XXe siècle. Dès 1951, elle publie son premier recueil de poèmes, A Change of World,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • rich — richly, adv. richness, n. /rich/, adj., richer, richest, n. adj. 1. having wealth or great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources, means, or funds; wealthy: a rich man; a rich nation. 2. abounding in natural resources: a rich territory.… …   Universalium

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