Arts of the Possible (Paperback)
Essays and Conversations
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393323122, 208pp.
Publication Date: May 17, 2002
"Adrienne Rich's new prose collection could have been titled The Essential Rich."—Women's Review of Books
These essays trace a distinguished writer's engagement with her time, her arguments with herself and others. "I am a poet who knows the social power of poetry, a United States citizen who knows herself irrevocably tangled in her society's hopes, arrogance, and despair," Adrienne Rich writes. The essays in Arts of the Possible search for possibilities beyond a compromised, degraded system, seeking to imagine something else. They call on the fluidity of the imagination, from poetic vision to social justice, from the badlands of political demoralization to an art that might wound, that may open scars when engaged in its work, but will finally suture and not tear apart. This volume collects Rich's essays from the last decade of the twentieth century, including four earlier essays, as well as several conversations that go further than the usual interview. Also included is her essay explaining her reasons for declining the National Medal for the Arts. "The work is inspired and inspiring."—Alicia Ostriker "[S]o clear and clean and thorough. I learn from her again and again."—Grace Paley