What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics

What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics

Paperback

By (author) Adrienne Rich

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 206mm x 28mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 17 October 2003
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393312461
  • ISBN 13: 9780393312461
  • Edition statement: revised reprint
  • Sales rank: 835,117

Product description

Through journals, letters, dreams, and close readings of the work of many poets, Adrienne Rich reflects on how poetry and politics enter and impinge on American life. This expanded edition includes a new preface by the author as well as her post-9/11 "Six Meditations in Place of a Lecture."

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"Simultaneously poetry anthology, exercise in reflection, social and cultural diagnosis, poet's creed...this is a book of wisdom...more resonant with each rereading." "Essential reading for writers and readers of poetry and for anyone interested in the current debates on art and politics...and the spiritual and moral power of literature." "The clear-eyed depth and the visionary stretch of these notes bespeak an irresistible, prophetic intelligence and a huge heart wrestling with the transformative power of poetry up against the needs of an emerging new world." -- June Jordan

Editorial reviews

Award-winning poet Rich offers a new volume of collected essays (Blood, Bread, and Poetry, 1986, etc.) that feature her distinct blend of feminist polemics and sharp-sighted analysis of the American condition, spiced with verses from a range of kindred spirits. Poetry is as necessary as food, shelter, education, and other human basics, Rich asserts, exploring the relationship between a poet's social responsibility and the world of experience that provides poetry's raw material. The notion of artist-activists remains primary even as Rich acknowledges that poetry, with limited "value" in a market economy as entrenched as ours, has been effectively marginalized. The struggle for political power through poetic expression is an engagement on many fronts, as minority voices speak out along with oppressed women, the poor along with the gay community. Quoting Muriel Rukeyser, June Jordan, and others to emphasize that poetry can convey valuable messages of social redemption, Rich also draws on sources from Trotsky to Wallace Stevens to illustrate her own educational path. Her understanding that racism and sexism are integral parts of the social landscape wasn't attained overnight, and the painful process of emergence from an early life of privileged narrowness into a fuller awareness is recounted at length. The transformative, conjuring power of poetry is reaffirmed throughout, with its potential impact enhanced as it finds its rightful place in the cultural mainstream. Challenging and rewarding as always, although at times the essays serve as little more than venues for the poetry and words of others. In giving access to lesser-known but like-minded writers, Rich has reduced her own presence - a disappointing trade-off. (Kirkus Reviews)