Adrienne Rich

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Adrienne Cooper

A versatile performer, scholar, administrator, and activist who worked in the fields of Yiddish culture, Jewish music, social justice, and feminism, Adrienne Cooper inspired international audiences with her compelling performances and nurtured a generation of musicians, academics, and advocates.

Denise Levertov

The author of nineteen books of poetry as well as several books of essays and translations, Denise Levertov was a world-renowned poet. She was also a prominent political activist, particularly in the anti-war and environmental movements.

Audre Lorde, Meridel Lesueur, and Adrienne Rich, 1980

Poetry as Protest: Adrienne Rich Fought for All Women

Abigail Glickman

Rich once said, “In a time of frontal assaults both on language and on human solidarity, poetry can remind us of all we are in danger of losing–disturb us, embolden us out of resignation.” In other words, poetry has the power to express the things that unite us all as humans and can inspire us to work together toward a common goal.

West Coast Highway

I Came to Explore the Wreck

Rachel Landau

Boxes of slide reels still cover my repurposed kitchen table. To help with storage, a nearby closet offers enough space for a whopping twelve boxes for a total of sixteen, all compiled by my paternal Grandfather. I’m no mathematician but I can easily calculate that, with sixteen boxes of eighty slides, there must be over twelve hundred squares of film.

Adrienne Rich

Poetry is Politics

Rachel Landau

One of the best ways to write poetry is to read poetry: this is common knowledge probably spoken at every writing class in the world. However, this advice is not specific enough. The leader of the class should instead announce to the group of rookie writers that one of the best ways to write poetry is to read the poetry of Adrienne Rich.

Topics: Activism, Poetry
Adrienne Rich Poem Image

The World As It Is: Learning To Read Adrienne Rich

Margaret Bostrom

The words are purposes.
​The words are maps.

            —Adrienne Rich, from Diving into the Wreck

When I think of Adrienne Rich, I think about the differences between maps and routes, between shortcuts and whole geographies. I think about the difference between following directions that lead you straight from A to B and sitting down with your Atlas of the Difficult World with no destination yet in mind. I think about trying to take in all that maps have to tell you with your heart and eyes open, about looking to learn without knowing what you will find or where this new knowledge will lead you. When I think about Adrienne Rich, I think of the different ways we learn, the different ways we come to know the world, ourselves, and vice versa. 

Topics: Poetry

Adrienne Rich, 1929 - 2012

Rich’s commitment to social justice that characterized her sustained engagement in the world emerged from the provocation and the aspiration that was her Jewishness.

Voices of Jewish Poets Logo

Passover poetry: Re-telling the story of our own lives

Gail Reimer

National Poetry Month officially began yesterday. It is not altogether clear why the Academy of American Poets chose April as the month to celebrate poets and poetry.

Adrienne Rich

A poem for Adrienne

Marge Piercy

Another Obituary

 

Topics: Poetry
Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich: navigating hope

Judith Rosenbaum

The news of Adrienne Rich’s death yesterday at age 82 sent me immediately to my bookshelves and an extended swim through the currents of words she has left behind. All writers believe in the power of words—and maybe especially poets, whose words are fewer and so carefully chosen—but for me Rich’s writing particularly and persuasively argued for the ability of words, language, expression to create new realities, to change the world.

Birth Control

Enthusiastic agitators: Jewish women on birth control

Leah Berkenwald

I'm not the first one to point out how outrageous it is that in 2012, birth control is a controversial political issue.

Art, justice, and Adrienne Rich

Judith Rosenbaum

Here we are, poised on the edge of a "holiday weekend" in which we celebrate America's independence through those ever-meaningful traditions of barbeque, fireworks, and shopping sales.

Topics: Activism, Poetry

Adrienne Rich rejects National Medal for the Arts

July 3, 1997

On July 3, 1997, poet Adrienne Rich informed Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, that she would not accept the Nat

Women's Studies in the United States

Jewish women were instrumental in creating women’s studies as an academic discipline and contributed significantly to its growth and evolution. They have been critical not only as political activists, administrators, and editors of the key women’s studies journals, but also as prominent thinkers in the field’s intellectual debates.

Poetry in the United States

The contributions of Jewish women poets to American literary history and political activism, as well as to the enrichment of Jewish culture and practice, are astounding. Many Jewish women poets write with a strong sense of social responsibility and a desire to create poetry that can shape reality, drawing on the Jewish teachings of  tikkun olam.

Literature Scholars in the United States

Jewish women have been among the key figures in literary scholarship in the United States in the postwar period. Those entering the profession in the 1950s faced more difficulties as women than they did as Jews. Today, Jewish women are found in all corners of the profession, from feminist and queer theory to administration, critical race studies, and beyond.

Marcia Falk

Marcia Falk is a poet, translator, and liturgist whose knowledge of the Bible and of Hebrew and English literature informs the feminist spiritual vision of her work. She is widely considered one of the foremothers of, and foremost contributors to, the Jewish feminist movement.

Justice, Community, and Adrienne Rich

Jordan Namerow

April is National Poetry Month, and over the past few days I’ve been re-reading some poems by my favorite poet, Adrienne Rich. There’s so much that I love about Rich and her writing. I love how powerfully—and radically—she fuses political commitment and the pursuit of justice into her poetic vision. She writes provocatively on sexuality, race, language, power, and women’s culture as she combats racism, militarism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism.

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