Adrienne Rich received the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1951 (from judge W. H. Auden), at the age of 21, and with strength and conviction has not stopped writing since in her distinct voice. Rich has said that her poetry seeks to create a dialectical relationship between “the personal, or lyric voice, and the so-called political—really, the voice of the individual speaking not just to herself, or to a beloved friend, but to and from a collective, a social realm.” Her National Book Critics’ Circle Award citation explains: “Rich has captured with subversive wit, compassion, precision, supple poetics, toughness and yes, opposition and resistance, what life has been like in the opening years of a new century.”
She is the author of more than sixteen volumes of poetry, including, Diving into the Wreck, The Dream of a Common Language, The Fact of a Doorframe: Selected Poems 1950—2001, An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988—1991, Dark Fields of the Republic: Poems 1991—1995, Midnight Salvage, Fox, and The School Among the Ruins, as well as the prose book Of Woman Born. Rich’s newest book of poems is Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth (2007). Her new collection of essays, A Human Eye: Essays on Art in Society, was published in May 2009.
Adrienne Rich received a Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.