The Bay celebrates the career of Adrienne Rich
Poet, activist, and extraordinary woman dies at age 82.
I remember thinking I wasn’t “grown up” enough to read Adrienne Rich’s work in middle school. I felt that, though I had a basic understanding of her most frequented topics, I didn’t have the life experience or maturity to really make a connection that mattered.
As a student at Agnes Scott College, a liberal arts school on the east coast, I revisited Rich’s work frequently. She was quite ubiquitous, as you couldn’t take a social studies class without at least a quotation from her popping up in the margins. Such a petite woman made such a massive impact on the literary world that her influence spilled from the pages of her work onto the podiums of politicians and leaders everywhere.
Journalist Meredith May explains Rich’s career succinctly, “Ms. Rich […] was known for wielding her pen on behalf of the disenfranchised. She was among the first contemporary poets to imagine the personal as political.”
I firmly believe that Rich was able to carry such impact because she consistently checked formalities and pleasantries at the door. The second that the pen was placed to page (and later, I imagine, fingers to keyboard) Rich dedicated herself to removing the veil from taboo issues and shoving our noses into the matter.
Rich is the author of 19 books of poetry and seven texts of prose.
Honoring Her Memory
Rich believed that art and society were inseparable. Create art from her art that will speak to all who enter your home.
Peruse through Rich’s work and find a few lines that speak to you. (Narrowing down your options will be the hardest part.) Use those lines as the text for any of the following DIY craft ideas. It’s a simply way to pay homage to a brave and talented woman.
Happiness is You
Rain or Shine
Vintage Dictionary Prints