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Poetry Everywhere: "What Kind of Times Are These" by Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich reads her poem "What Kind of Times Are These." Part of the Poetry Everywhere project a ...

Adrienne Rich

Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes a National Book Award for poetry for Tonight, No Poetry Will Serve, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 1994, and a National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for Diving Into the Wreck. That volume, published in 1973, is considered her masterwork. Ms. Rich’s other volumes of poetry include The Dream of a Common Language, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, An Atlas of the Difficult World, The School Among the Ruins, and Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. Her prose includes the essay collections On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Blood, Bread, and Poetry; an influential essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” and the nonfiction book Of Woman Born, which examines the institution of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. In 2006, Rich was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. In 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award.


Books by Adrienne Rich

  1. Book CoverAdrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose

    This Norton Critical Edition presents the work of one of America's foremost poets. It moves well beyond the scope of its predecessor, Adrienne Rich's Poetry (1975), in giving proper recognition to Rich's extraordinary achievements in both poetry and prose in recent years. The result is a judiciously edited, sensibly annotated volume ideally suited for classroom study of one of our most distinguished working writers.More

  2. Book CoverArts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations

    "Adrienne Rich's new prose collection could have been titled The Essential Rich."—Women's Review of BooksMore

  3. Book CoverAn Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988-1991

    Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.More

  4. Book CoverBlood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985

    That Adrienne Rich is a not only a major American poet but an incisive, compelling prose writer is made clear once again by this collection, in which she continues to explore the social and political context of her life and art.More

  5. Book CoverA Change of World: Poems

    This reissue of Adrienne Rich’s first poetry collection reaffirms the author’s place as one of our most important American poets.More

  6. Book CoverCollected Early Poems: 1950-1970

    More than 200 poems collected from Adrienne Rich's first six books, plus a dozen others of those decades.More

  7. Book CoverCollected Poems: 1950–2012

    The collected works of Adrienne Rich, whose poetry is “distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity” (New York Times).More

  8. Book CoverDark Fields of the Republic: Poems 1991-1995

    "When does a life bend towards freed? grasp its direction" asks Adrienne Rich in Dark Fields of the Republic, her major new work. Her explorations go to the heart of democracy and love, and the historical and present endangerment of both.More

  9. Book CoverDiving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972

    In her seventh volume of poetry, Adrienne Rich searches to reclaim—to discover—what has been forgotten, lost, or unexplored.More

  10. Book CoverThe Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974-1977

    “Certain lines had become like incantations to me, words I’d chanted to myself through sorrow and confusion” —Cheryl Strayed, WildMore

  11. Book CoverThe Fact of a Doorframe: Poems 1950-2001

    A reissue of the classic Adrienne Rich selection, revised and expanded to cover the entirety of her career, with a new Introduction.More

  12. Book CoverFox: Poems 1998-2000

    "A challenging collection that should more than satisfy [Rich's] large and loyal following."—Washington Post Book WorldMore

  13. Book CoverA Human Eye: Essays on Art in Society, 1997-2008

    “Adrienne Rich is the Blake of American letters.”—Nadine GordimerMore

  14. Book CoverLater Poems: Selected and New: 1971–2012

    The final volume of poems by America’s most powerful and distinctive poetic voice.More

  15. Book CoverLeaflets: Poems 1965-1968

    Leaflets is Adrienne Rich's fifth book of poems. It contains twenty-eight new poems, five adaptations of Dutch, Yiddish, and Russian poets, and a sequence of seventeen poems loosely based on the ghazal, a common form in Middle Eastern poetic tradition; these ghazals comprise a kind of notebook of a month in the summer of 1968.More

  16. Book CoverMidnight Salvage: Poems 1995-1998

    "An impressive new volume. . . . Rich's admirers will recognize the complex symbiosis between the activist and the maker of new language, each propelling, describing, provoking the other's words."—Publishers WeeklyMore

  17. Book CoverOf Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

    Adrienne Rich's influential and landmark investigation concerns both the experience and the institution of motherhood.More

  18. Book CoverOn Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978

    In this collection of prose writings, one of America's foremost poets and feminist theorists reflects upon themes that have shaped her life and work.More

  19. Book CoverThe School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004

    "Trust Rich, a clarion poet of conscience, to get the fractured timbre of the times just right."--Booklist, starred reviewMore

  20. Book CoverSnapshots of a Daughter-in-Law: Poems, 1954-1962

    "The risk this book quietly takes, and impressively fulfills, is no less than to get life said.... Newly freed from the metrical conventions of her earlier books, Adrienne Rich has lost none of her perfect pitch for the tones of language itself." --Philip Booth, The Christian Science MonitorMore

  21. Book CoverTelephone Ringing in the Labyrinth: Poems 2004-2006

    “Rich’s lyrics are powerful and mournful, drenched in memory.” —San Francisco ChronicleMore

  22. Book CoverTime's Power: Poems 1985-1988

    Time's Power is a new book by a major American poet, and a landmark in a distinguished ongoing career.More

  23. Book CoverTonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007–2010

    “Rich’s poetry itself is a mirror, reflecting the truths about humanity this discerning poet has come to understand.”—BooklistMore

  24. Book CoverWhat Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics

    Expanded Edition

    America's enduring poet of conscience reflects on the proven and potential role of poetry in contemporary politics and life.More

  25. Book CoverA Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978-1981

    “We are in the presence here of a major American poet whose voice at mid-century in her own life is increasingly marked by moral passion.”—New York Times Book ReviewMore

  26. Book CoverThe Will to Change: Poems 1968-1970

    "The Will to Change is an extraordinary book of poems...It has the urgency of a prisoner's journal: patient, laconic, eloquent, as if determined thoughts were set down in stolen moments." —David Kalstone in The New York Times Book ReviewMore

  27. Book CoverYour Native Land, Your Life

    A major American poet faces her own native land, her own life, and the result is a volume of compelling, transforming poems.More