CFP: The Career and Influence of Adrienne Rich (10/1/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Waddell, Bill
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Proposals sought for an essay collection with the working title, "'A woman sworn to lucidity': Perspectives on the Career and Influence of Adrienne Rich."

It's more than fifty years since the publication of Adrienne Rich's first book, the Yale Younger Poets Series award winning A Change of World. Rich has maintained throughout those more than fifty years a formidable standard of vigorous and challenging activity. She has become, at least since the famous National Book Award speech in 1974, one of a handful of genuinely public faces—and voices—in poetry and in political action. Very few poets, in fact, have so publicly charted and reflected on the matter and purposes of their own careers. Much of the energy driving Rich's overt strategies in art and polemic seems to derive from a resolute conviction that divisions between public and private are artificial and false. A means of uniting these spheres is one way to conceive of her "dream of a common language."

This collection aims, through nine or ten essays, perhaps 4000 to 6000 words each, to accomplish a review of Rich's long and active career, illuminating the nature and range of her achievement(s). I hope to reach this goal not by assembling a series of differently framed overviews, but by arranging a group of essays that open outward from particulars, trusting that a wide variety of such perspectives can suggest the scope of Rich's work. Proposals are welcome focusing on poetry from any phase of her career (including fresh looks at A Change of World and The Diamond Cutters), on her prose (in itself or in relation to her poetry), on her teaching and social activism, and on her influence (discerned in expected and perhaps unexpected places).

Please send initial proposals (500-600 words) by October 1, 2005; completed essays will likely be due in late fall, 2006, for a publication date in the summer of 2007. Negotiations are underway with a publisher who has shown interest in the project.

E-mail submissions preferred; Word attachments have been the most reliable.

William Waddell
English Department
St. John Fisher College
Rochester, NY 14618

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Received on Mon Jun 20 2005 - 10:46:40 EDT