Poetry reading & discussion

Apr 21, 2006



Event Description

Adrienne Rich was born on May 16, 1929 in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Radcliffe College, graduating in 1951, and was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize for A Change of World that same year.

Poet, essayist, and cultural critic Adrienne Rich is among the most widely admired and thought provoking writers in the United States. She received the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1951, at the age of twenty-one, and has since authored sixteen volumes of poetry, including Diving into the Wreck (1972), for which she received the National Book Award. Her essays and poems are taught across the country in most English programs and Women's Studies courses. She is the recipient of nearly every major literary award including the 1999 Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and the MacArthur "genius" grant. She edited Muriel Rukeyser’s Selected Poems for the Library of America (2004) and has published essays on the letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov, on June Jordan and James Baldwin, and a preface to Manifesto: Three Classic Essays On How to Change the World (Ocean Press, Australia, 2005). Adrienne Rich's newest book of poems is Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010 (Norton, January 2011).

Adrienne Rich is the recipient of the 1999 Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been distinguished by an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Common Wealth Award in Literature, the National Book Award, the 1996 Tanning Award for Mastery in the Art of Poetry, and the MacArthur Fellowship. In 2003, Adrienne Rich was awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. Her collection, The School Among the Ruins, was honored with the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen as one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry picks of 2004. It was also selected to receive the 2006 San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award (judge, Mark McMorris). In 2006, Adrienne Rich was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. The judges articulated this distinction as follows: “Adrienne Rich ... in recognition of her incomparable influence and achievement as a poet and nonfiction writer. For more than fifty years, her eloquent and visionary writings have shaped the world of poetry as well as feminist and political thought.” Her essay on Poetry and Commitment was published by Norton in spring 2007, in a small book with Mark Doty’s introduction at the National Book Foundation event. On June 2, 2010, Adrienne Rich was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award. For further biographical information, please see http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/49