Washington Post reports that Adrienne Rich, one of the most important feminist poets and essayists of the century, passed away on March 27 in her home in Santa Cruz, California. Rich was 82 years old. She was struggling with complications from rheumatoid arthritis which eventually led to her death.
Adrienne Rich wrote numerous poems in support of feminist movements, lesbianism and political change, but today it was her son, Pablo Conrad, who released an official statement saying that the poet passed away. He revealed that Rich was suffering from a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis and lost her life at 82 years old.
Adrienne Rich leaves a remarkable collection of poems and essays behind, all of them dedicated to the significant role that women play in the society. She won various awards and prizes for her works, such as, the National Book Award. She was born in a privileged family in Baltimore and she became a wife and a mother at a relatively young age.
In 1970, she became the first author to write poems from a lesbian point of view. She even started her relationship with the Jamaican novelist Michelle Cliff. Later on, Rich indirectly confessed that she was a lesbian in her work “Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution” by saying: “The suppressed lesbian I had been carrying in me since adolescence began to stretch her limbs”.
Adrienne declined several awards handed by the White House representatives because she did not agree with their administration. In 1997, she refused the National Medal of Arts because she didn’t believe that Clinton’s behavior reflected her opinion about arts. In 2010 she obtained the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Poetry Prize for the numerous accomplishments she had throughout her career.
Although her disease was getting worse with the passing of the time, the essayist continued to write poems until the day she died. Poetry was her reason for being because “things could be said in poems that could be said in no other way”.