Published posthumously, this collection of Adrienne Rich’s poetry reaches back to some of the early poems that marked Rich not only as a poet of undeniable talent, but also a poet who would take her voice into the realms of politics and activism, filling in some of the voids around silence and secrecy. At her death in March 2012, Rich left behind a manuscript of work that speaks for her concern with a poetics of relation, the importance of the craft, and a mirror of the nuances of the world in which we live. With 10 new poems added to her older ones, this collection embodies Rich’s tenacity and her ability to reach toward and examine that which affects our days.
The final volume of poems assembled by America’s most powerful and distinctive poetic voice.
In Later Poems: Selected and New 1971–2012, the strong trajectory of the work of one of the most important artists of American letters is on display. This volume brings together a remarkable body of work. Included are Adrienne Rich’s own selections from twelve volumes of published works, including the National Book Award–winning Diving Into the Wreck, An Atlas of the Difficult World, and her most recent volume, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve, along with ten powerful new poems, previously uncollected. Among these, “From Strata” is a kind of archaeology of the present day; “Itinerary” searches for an “indefinite future” in a menaced landscape; “For the Young Anarchists” offers a trope of skilled labor for political action; and the haunting voice of “Teethsucking Bird” reminds us of what we have been told to forget. This collection testifies to a monumental career that distinguished American literature in the late twentieth century and will continue to inspire readers for years to come.
About the Author
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 two National Book Awards, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. Ms. Rich’s 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 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award.