For many years I have called Adrienne Rich my favorite poet. In college I studied her work in a feminist poetry class; I also had the opportunity to see her read from her work. Her essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” was also deeply influential to me in my late teens as I was figuring out my own identity. These days I keep my personal copy of her collection “The Dream of a Common Language” on my desk at work at all times.
News of her passing last month touched me on many levels. A close friend texted me the news as I was riding on the train home from work. I spent the rest of my commute that day reading her “21 Love Poems” on my phone. It was with much gladness that I just learned Rich will be honored this coming Monday, April 16th at Columbia University at a memorial event called “Adrienne Rich: Tribute, Reading Celebration.” Nearly twenty people will commemorate Rich by offering tributes and reading from her work.
I hope to see you there!