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This report is taken from PN Review 52, Volume 13 Number 2, November - December 1986.

Letter from New York J.D. McClatchy
Adrienne Rich read here last month, at The Poetry Center of the 92nd Street YMHA. It was a rare New York appearance, and her first on the Y stage in eleven years. The hall was thronged with hundreds of admirers; their applause, before and after the reading, was fervent. Flowers were brought. When, later, she walked through a reception room, the crowd parted and clapped - not for a poet or even a celebrity, but for a figurehead. Rich herself was a frail, modest but determined presence in the midst of all this. On stage, she wore running shoes and walked with a lucite cane. A small woman, she peeped over the podium, and read in a clear, strong voice, with a trace of a drawl, poems from her book, Your Native Land, Your Life, just published by Norton.

The latest issue of Parnassus: Poetry in Review is a hefty 616-page 'Celebration of Women and Poetry'. In his preface, the editor Herbert Leibowitz echoes what a lot of people have been saying: 'The most remarkable event in American poetry of the last fifteen years has been the eruption of Vesuvius: the emergence of talented women poets in unprecedented numbers.' Other critics have made grander claims. In a recent essay in The New York Times Book Review, entitled 'American Poetry, Now Shaped by Women', Alicia Ostriker notes the way in which poetry by women has come into the consciousness and curriculum of the nation's readers, and that as a result ...


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