Adrienne Rich: An Advocate

Adrienne Rich has been nationally recognized for her outstanding poetry, but she does not feel that she should receive such honors. In 1997, Rich refused to accept the National Medal for the Arts, which was granted to her by the White House and the Clinton administration. Upon her decision to decline the prestigious award, Rich noted that she was, “protesting the growing concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands,”( After exploring a variety of her poems, it is clear that Rich’s staunch political views advocate for equality for all people, regardless of race, class, or creed. Also, Rich explained that she did not want art to be mixed up with politics because the purpose of her work is to express the voices that are disregarded. With so many people’s voices being silenced by the government, Rich felt that it would have been hypocritical to accept an honor that helped to widen the gap between the powerful and the powerless.

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