Reviewing the Essential Essays of Adrienne Rich

One of my major projects this summer was reviewing Adrienne Rich’s Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert. One of the biggest challenges with this piece was that there is so much ground to cover in a collected volume of prose that spans more than 50 years, but that is also the beauty of this book. There is much to glean from the texture of the earliest essays against the later ones.

I decided to focus on what is one of Rich’s most personally salient ideas for me: the lesbian continuum. What a beautiful opportunity to think about the availability of language. As a queer person, it’s something I think about on a daily basis, and I have been grateful for Rich’s notion of the lesbian continuum since I came across it a few years ago.

The review also engages with Rich’s ideas related to female tokenism, an essential idea to confront, I think, as the token women of 45’s administration wreak destruction around the world.

Big thanks to The Drunken Odyssey publishing my review, which you can read here.

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