Adrienne Rich, the powerfully influential poet and feminist whose work became the paramount voice for women’s liberation and lesbianism for the better half of a century, died on March 27 at her Santa Cruz home. She was 82.
Considered one of the best-known American intellectuals, the award-winning poet and essayist published over two-dozen books of poetry and more than a half dozen works of nonfiction in her 60 year long career. In a 1984 speech, Rich said that what she has fought for was simply “the creation of a society without domination.”
Rich’s work has had a long-standing influence over the Mills community and her death has brought a rush of sentiment from students, alumnae and faculty.
“Poetry isn’t revolution but a way of knowing why it must come”
– from “Dreamwood”
“She supported us in word and deed during the strike. We lost a very cool woman but she leaves us better off for her being a part of our world.”
– Alexa Pagonas,
“I choose to love this time for once with all my intelligence.”
– from “Splittings”
“Adrienne Rich meant the world to me. She was the voice for so many of us, the voice of our generation, even. I would go to her for solace and for help. The moment you’re in need, she’s there.”
— Cynthia Scheinberg, Chair of English Department
“She was a fascinating person. She began for me a tradition of memorizing my favorite poems.”
– Kim Magowan,
visiting Assistant Professor and student of Rich,