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Celebrated Poet Adrienne Rich to Give Reading Oct. 11

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October 3, 2006 | by Wendy Leopold

Celebrated poet and essayist Adrienne Rich -- who in 1997 refused to accept the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government -- will read from her work Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Northwestern University.

The reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Room 107 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road, on Northwestern's Evanston campus. Though free and open to the public, it will require tickets, which will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. A book signing and reception will follow Rich's reading.

Since Rich, at 21, received the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1951, she has gone on to win numerous honors for her powerful personal and socially conscious poetry. In refusing the National Medal of Arts, which the U.S. President awards to its recipients, Rich protested an erosion of federal support for the arts and what she called “hostile propaganda from the religious right and the Republican Congress” surrounding efforts to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rich, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award and MacArthur (so-called “genius”) Fellowship, Rich seeks to create a relationship between the personal and political. One of the country's most distinguished poets, she has published more than 16 volumes of poetry and four nonfiction books that have been translated into Spanish, Swedish, Hebrew, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Japanese and other languages.

Rich, who this year was awarded a National Book Foundation's medal for contributions to American arts and letters, will come to Northwestern as the Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor. Her visit is presented by Northwestern's programs in American studies and gender studies, with generous support from the Kreeger Wolf Endowment and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences' Simeon E. Leland Forum. For further information, call Katy at (847) 491-5871.