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Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"I am a poet who knows the social power of poetry, a United States citizen who knows herself irrevocably tangled in her society's hopes, arrogance, and despair," Adrienne Rich writes.

The essays in Arts of the Possible search for possibilities beyond a compromised, degraded system, seeking to imagine something else. They call on the fluidity of the imagination, from poetic
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 17th 2001 by W. W. Norton Company
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4.11  · 
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 ·  203 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Arts of the Possible" is a collection of essays, speeches and interviews from the American poet and activist, Adrienne Rich. These short, readable pieces date from 1971 to 1997. The foreword was added by Rich in 2000.

I was unfamiliar with Rich's poems before reading her prose collection. I have found myself returning many times to these essays when I am in search of inspiration. She constantly looks for connections between ideas and people. While she has seen the rise of identity politics and i

Alguns dels assajos són imprescindibles!
Kit Lea
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked her essays on Marxism, politics and revolution more than those that focussed on poetry and feminism. Refreshing insights into language. Her last essay "Arts of the Possible" is fantastic, a rallying call for this age, to "question the questions." My takeaway: it is hypocritical to love to write or to create "in a vacuum," in loving language, we must think about who has access to language, and who is being denied this access. We also must ask the basic questions that may otherwise be dism ...more
Marije de Wit
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Profoundly inspired and informed essays on the intersections of the formal and the political, the self and the outside world, and the personal and the collective. What’s also interesting to me is how Rich so effortlessly moves on, and blurs the lines between awareness, consciousness and knowledge.
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theoretical
In the America where I'm writing now, suffering is
diagnosed relentlessly as personal, individual, maybe
familial, and at most to be "shared" with a group
specific to the suffering, in the hope of "recovery."
We lack a vocabulary for thinking about pain as
communal and public, or as deriving from "skewed
social relations." (Art, 114)

As seen here in an excerpt from 1996's "Defying the Space That Separates," Adrienne Rich's cultural observations continue, more than a decade after being put to
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, creativity
RIP Adrienne Rich, 28 March, 2012...

I'm currently reading (re-reading) this thought provoking group of essays by Rich.

(I'm late coming into my 'schooling' on poets and poetry.) A few years ago, I was fortunate to listen to a PennSound recording of Ms. Rich, that made me delve deeper into the realms of what is possible when one uses poetry as a vehicle for politics and social awareness.

Last week, after reading the essay that explains why Rich declined the NEA's National award, I remembered why
Aug 26, 2010 rated it liked it
I love Rich's poetry, but found myself a little disappointed with her essays. Her work, I think, speaks for itself, and the way in which she speaks about it, as all-encompassing, made it feel trite in a way I'd never felt it was before.
Geri Degruy
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The feminist, lesbian poet Adrienne Rich writes fascinating essays on poetry, women, the politics of America and how that affects the arts, the context of the artist. Very thought provoking for me. Took me back to some of the feminist ideas/ideals of my past. Well written. Intelligent.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bored to sobs.
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great look at her evolution as a poet. Would still like to read a critique of an anthology of her work.
Diving Into the Wreck is simply an amazing poem.
Ana Alvarez
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was my first introduction to feminism enacted through writing. Rich’s essays bring out the political from the poetic.
Teresa Levy
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rich gives here her view about feminism and homosexuality against patriarchy
Sep 22, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: essays
What I would consider some really quirky poems. I don't know... I think I like her earlier poetry better... And her essays.
not great, tbh. belabors the obvious.
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Adrienne Rich (b. 1929). Born to a middle-class family, Rich was educated by her parents until she entered public school in the fourth grade. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe College in 1951, the same year her first book of poems, A Change of World, appeared. That volume, chosen by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and her next, The Diamond Cutters and Other Poems ...more
“Poems are like dreams: in them you put what you don't know you know.” 39 likes
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