Edited by Albert Gelpi, Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi, and Brett Millier, 448 pp., hardcover.
This volume is the second edition of the W.W. Norton Critical Edition of Adrienne Rich’s work, first published in 1973 and updated in 1993. Poetry and prose selections provide a clear sense of Adrienne Rich’s evolution and accomplishment across six decades of her working life. Prose selections include “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” Rich’s canonical statement on feminism; “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence;” Rich’s interview for American Poetry Review, which presents a full and frank discussion of her work; and her previously unpublished commentary on the genesis of the poem “Yom Kippur 1984.”
The editors provide a valuable selection of critical essays on Rich and reviews of her work, from the 1950s and ‘60s up to the present, by W. H. Auden, John Ashbery, Margaret Atwood, Helen Vendler, Judith McDaniel, and Charles Altieri, and among others. A freshly updated study by Albert Gelpi traces the events in Rich’s life from which her work evolves. An updated Chronology and Selected Bibliography, as well as an expanded index, are included.