Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Poems 2007-2010

By Adrienne Rich
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393079678, 80pp.)

Publication Date: January 2011

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from "Ballade of the Poverties There's the poverty of wages wired for the funeral you Can't get to the poverty of bodies lying unburie There's the poverty of labor offered silently on the cur The poverty of yard sale scrapings sprea And rejected the poverty of eviction, wedding bed out on stree Prince let me tell you who will never learn through word There are poverties and there are poverties.

About the Author
Adrienne Rich is a widely read and hugely influential poet and essayist, whose career has spanned four decades and has hewed closely to the story of post-war American poetry itself. Beginning with Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law: Poems 1954-1962 (1963), Rich's work has explored issues of identity, sexuality and politics; her formally ambitious poetics have reflected her continued search for social justice, her role in the anti-war movement, and her radical feminism. Best known for her politically-engaged verse from the tumultuous Vietnam-war period, Rich s collection Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 (1973) won the National Book Award; Rich, however, accepted it with fellow-nominees Audre Lorde and Alice Walker on behalf of all women. A noted writer of prose, Rich s numerous essay collections, including A Human Eye: Essays on Art in Society (2009) have also secured her place as one of America s preeminent feminist thinkers. In addition to the National Book Award, Rich has received numerous awards and commendations for her work, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and a MacArthur "Genius" Award. She made headlines in 1997 when she refused the National Medal of Arts for political reasons. An emphasis on the social conditions of private lives has been a mainstay in Rich s later work, which often explores the influence of contemporary world events. The School Among the Ruins: Poems, 2000-2004 (2004), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, attempts to capture the myriad events that have defined the beginning of the twenty-first century. Her most recent book of poetry is the 2010 collection Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010. She edited Muriel Rukeyser s Selected Poems for the Library of America. She is a recipient of the National Book Foundation s 2006 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, among other honors.
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