Adrienne Rich entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Adrienne Rich ranks as one of the most influential figures in the twentieth-century feminist movement, and as one of the most influential contemporary American poets (though her political activism impeded the usual workings of the canonisation process, producing a counter-flow against the voices raised in praise of her work). Like other great poets she has produced a body of theorising and critical prose that goes hand-in-hand with her poetry, and that has been almost equally clarifying and liberating for women seeking to understand the dynamics of history.
16 May 1929 AR, American poet, critic, theorist, and activist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Bibliographic Citation link.
1939 The ten-year-old AR reached print with Ariadne: A Play in Three Acts. Bibliographic Citation link.
1973 AR published Diving into the Wreck: Poems, 1971-1972, a volume of poetry marked by its new, uncompromising feminism. Bibliographic Citation link.
1974 AR won the (American) National Book Award for Diving into the Wreck: Poems, 1971-1972; she donated the cash prize to the Sisterhood of Black Single Mothers. Bibliographic Citation link.
By late 1976 AR published Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, a controversial yet influential volume of prose feminist analysis. Bibliographic Citation link.
1979 AR published another landmark work of feminist critique, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978. Bibliographic Citation link.
Summer 1980 AR published one of her best-known works, the essay "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" in the 'Sexuality' issue of the journal Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Bibliographic Citation link.
11 February 2011 AR's final collection of new work, titled Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010, appeared in the year before her death. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 March 2012 AR died at her home in Santa Cruz, California, of complications from the rheumatoid arthritis which she had suffered from since her twenties. Bibliographic Citation link.
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