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Adrienne Rich’s legacy

Lesbian poet Adrienne Rich

When I was a young college student in the mid-1980s, Adrienne Rich came to speak at the University of New Orleans. I was out, proud, and well-versed in gay and lesbian history and literature, thanks to Alan Robinson’s Faubourg Marigny Bookstore.

At UNO, a small core of faculty and students was pushing for a women’s studies minor, which meant I had the opportunity to study Rich’s writing. I accepted this as normal, not revolutionary.

Today, as a poet, essayist, and writing teacher, I wake alone, my partner headed to a foreign country where the very definition of revolution is up for debate, and open my e-mail to news from Marilyn Hacker. She writes: Adrienne Rich! what a loss. I can hardly believe it.