Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 29, 2001

Whitworth Endowed English Reading to Feature
Poet, Activist Adrienne Rich

Poet and activist Adrienne Rich is Whitworth's 2001 Endowed English Reader. Described by renowned poet W.S. Merwin as "one of the authentic, unpredictable, urgent, essential voices of our time," Rich has authored more than 16 volumes of poetry, including Midnight Salvage, Dark Fields of the Republic, and An Atlas of the Difficult World. Rich's essay collections include What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics; Blood, Bread and Poetry; and Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution.

Rich will read from her works Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m. in Cowles Memorial Auditorium at Whitworth College. A book sale and signing in the auditorium foyer will follow the reading. Disabled access is available for the event, which is free and open to the public.

According to her official biography, Rich's poetry transcends literary and political movements to emerge as a voice that relentlessly insists upon truth-telling and the ultimate value of human dignity. Through her poetry and essays, and through a lifetime of activism, Rich's work has "persistently resonated at the heart of contemporary feminism and its resistance to racism, militarism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism," states author Deborah Pope in the Anthology of Modern American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2000).

In her poetry Rich has tried, as she says, "to face the terrible with hope, in language as complex as necessary, as communicative as possible - a poetics which can work as antidote to complacency, self-involvement, and despair."

Honors accorded Rich include the 1996 Tanning Award for Mastery in the Art of Poetry, an Academy of Poetry Fellowship, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She is also the recipient of the Common Wealth Award in Literature, the National Book Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships and a MacArthur Fellowship. These awards attest to Rich's successful quest "to write both for readers I know exist and those I can only imagine, finding their own salvaged beauty as I have found mine."

The English Readings Endowment was established to bring nationally recognized writers to the Whitworth College campus and the greater Spokane area. Visiting writers offer classroom visits, workshops, meetings with students and faculty, and literary readings during their time on campus and in the community.

Contacts:

Doug Sugano, professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4212 or dsugano@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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