This morning when I came into work and flicked through the news headlines/ trending tweets I was informed that the poet Adrienne Rich had died at the age of 82.
I was first introduced to Rich whilst I was at Lancaster (thank you for quite literally changing my life, now defunct Women Writers of Britain and America 302) through the Virago Book of Love Poetry.
I can honestly say that some of the most beautiful writing I encountered throughout my whole degree was created by little known female writers and stored between the Virago collection’s heart-adorned covers.
Adrienne Rich was of course not one of the many unacknowledged writers that graced the book’s pages, although being female, gay and Jewish she was fighting on multiple levels. Due to copyright law, a lot of her poems that were previously on sites like poemhunter.com have been taken down, and her work is therefore not all that easy to find on the internet. So, I’ve been slightly sad today about the fact that my copy of the Virago collection, containing her work, is 200 miles away in a bag in the corner of my Huddersfield bedroom.
Adrienne Rich died yesterday in Santa Cruz. (Re)visit her work if you have the inclination or a few spare minutes. She was one of the greats.