Free Event

Author Hilary Holladay visits campus for a book reading and discussion focused on the 2020 release: The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography.

From the Preface of The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography: Throughout her long life and career, she marshaled the power of her formidable mind in the service of art and social justice. She gladly gave her life to writing, especially the writing of poetry, for poetry was as close to a religion as anything she would ever know. Although she was diagnosed in her early twenties with rheumatoid arthritis, which chased and whipped her for the rest of her days, Adrienne Rich also possessed the power of enormous energy—a gift of untold value to someone of her acumen and ambition. In addition to her intelligence, willpower, and energy, she had the imagination and curiosity she needed to develop and sustain her creative powers for a lifetime.

Well into early middle age, the fruits of those creative powers were almost enough to satisfy her. But when her writing flagged in the face of the burdens and responsibilities of motherhood, she began to take a fresh look at her life as an artist. She wondered what it would be like to stop pretending that a “universal” voice meant anything other than masquerading as a man. She noticed that, yes, the literary canon was full of poems about women, but they were almost exclusively by men. She would work to change that by taking up the subject herself.

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