This collection of Adrienne Rich’s poetry highlights some of the poems that Rich wrote during the 1970s—a time of political turmoil and cultural shifts that marked Rich not only as a poet of huge talent, but also a poet whose voice extended into the realms of politics and activism, filling in some of the void around silence and truth. The later and last poems that Rich wrote focus on the intimate—the poetics of relation, the importance of the craft—and provide a mirror for the nuances of the world in which we live. This is a splendid collection from one of the most important poets of our time.
The final volume of poems by America’s most powerful and distinctive poetic voice.
Later Poems: Selected and New brings together a remarkable body of work by the celebrated poet. 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 final volume, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve, along with ten powerful new poems, previously uncollected. 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.
She dreamed, famously, of a common language, and that is what she has left us with: language that made what was true, truer; what was small, bigger; what was silent, heard; what was fleeting, eternal.
“[Rich’s poems] shine with defiance, fierce commitment, introspection
and self-reproach, ‘hunger for clarity’ and ‘sour plum jam,’ majestic
coastlines and domestic detail. Here is a poet who knew her own contradictions,
determined to depict them accurately, and equally determined that she
would not write for herself alone. — Stephen Burt