Collected Poems: 1950-2012


Collected Poems: 1950-2012 Poetry
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Adrienne Rich was the singular voice of her generation and one of our most important American poets. She brought discussions of gender, race, and class to the forefront of poetical discourse, pushing formal boundaries and consistently examining both self and society.This collected volume traces the evolution of her poetry, from her earliest work, which was formally exact and decorous, to her later work, which became increasingly radical in both its free-verse form and its feminist and political content. The entire body of her poetry is on display in this vast volume, including the National Book Award–winning Diving Into the Wreck and her Poets’ Prize–winning Atlas of the Difficult World.The Collected Poems of Adrienne Rich gathers and memorializes all of Rich’s boldly political, formally ambitious, thoughtful and lucid work, the whole of which makes her one of the most prolific and influential poets of our time.

Editorial Reviews

Over the six decades of her writing career, Rich (1929–2012) published a new collection nearly every four years, yet the size of this anthology is surprising for not only its quantity but also for the unflagging quality of its craft and vision. An outspoken feminist and political activist, Rich refused to compromise or silence herself in "the purposeless exchange/ of consciousness for the absence/ of pain," and though her poems often begin with granular, personal observations ("There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill"), they unfold into complex maps of wider awareness and realization ("this is not somewhere else but here,/ our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,/ its own ways of making people disappear.") Tensions between private and public, between acceptance and resistance, sparked the dynamic that challenged both her own and her readers' assumptions about their lives and responsibilities. VERDICT An "accurate dreamer" who voiced "her own inward scream," Rich is an indispensable poet, whose work parallels and brings into focus the transformative zeitgeist of her era. This magisterial compendium forcefully suggests that era has not yet passed. [See Prepub Alert, 12/7/15.]—Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY

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