Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry

Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry

Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry

Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry


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A New York Times Critics’ Pick

A career-spanning selection of the lucid, courageous, and boldly political prose of National Book Award winner Adrienne Rich.

Demonstrating the lasting brilliance of her voice and her prophetic vision, Essential Essays showcases Adrienne Rich’s singular ability to unite the political, personal, and poetical. The essays selected here by feminist scholar Sandra M. Gilbert range from the 1960s to 2006, emphasizing Rich’s lifelong intellectual engagement and fearless prose exploration of feminism, social justice, poetry, race, homosexuality, and identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393355130
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 439,733
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was an award-winning poet, influential essayist, radical feminist, and major public intellectual of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry, including the National Book Award–winning Diving into the Wreck, and more than a half-dozen of prose.

Sandra M. Gilbert is a distinguished literary critic and poet. Together with Susan Gubar, she was awarded the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the NBCC. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Text ix

Introduction: The Treasures That Prevail xi

On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978

When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision (1971) 3

Jane Eyre: The Temptations of a Motherless Woman (1973) 20

Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson (1975) 39


Poetry and Experience: Statement at a Poetry Reading (1964) 71

From Caryatid: A Column (1973) 73

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (1976)

Foreword 79

Anger and Tenderness 85

Motherhood and Daughterhood 107

Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985

What Does a Woman Need to Know? (1979) 149

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence (1980) 157

Split at the Root: An Essay on Jewish Identity (1982) 198

The Eye of the Outsider: Elizabeth Bishop's Complete Poems, 1927-1979 (1983) 218

Blood, Bread, and Poetry: The Location of the Poet (1984) 228

What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (1993, 2003)

Woman and Bird 249

Voices from the Air 253

The Distance Between Language and Violence 257

Not How to Write Poetry, but Wherefore 264

"Rotted Names" 270

A Poet's Education 278

Tourism and Promised Lands 285

Six Meditations in Place of a Lecture 291

Arts of the Possible (2001)

Muriel Rukeyser: Her Vision (1993) 313

Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts (1997) 319

Arts of the Possible (1997) 326

A Human Eye (2009)

Permeable Membrane (2005) 347

Poetry and the Forgotten Future (2006) 350

Notes 369

Credits 389

Index 395

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