Hello! My sixth and most recent book is The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography, published by Nan A. Talese / Doubleday in 2020. It is due out in paperback in October 2022. I began work on this biography in 2014, two years after Rich died. My archival research involved reading thousands of pages of unpublished letters and journals held by Harvard’s Schlesinger Library and other university libraries across the country.

Further, I interviewed a great many people who knew Rich and her family. Some had known her parents, Dr. Arnold Rich and Helen Jones Rich, in Baltimore, and others were Adrienne’s classmates who became friends with her at Roland Park Country School or at Radcliffe College. Adrienne’s sister, Cynthia Rich, was an invaluable source of information and insight throughout my research. Other interview subjects included prominent economists who had worked with Dr. Alfred Conrad, Rich’s husband, in the economics department at Harvard or later on at CUNY.

I also talked with feminist scholars and writers who became acquainted with Rich after her husband’s death in 1970. Many of them remembered her as a radical feminist heroine who had changed their lives with her poetry and her lesbian-feminist essays. Further, I interviewed women and men who were friends with Rich’s partner, the Jamaican-born writer Michelle Cliff, and neighbors who lived next door to Rich and Cliff in Santa Cruz, California. All of these conversations enlivened my research and deepened my understanding of Adrienne Rich and her milieu. 

My other books include Wild Blessings: The Poetry of Lucille Clifton (LSU Press), Herbert Huncke: The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation (Schaffner Press), and Tipton: A Novel (Knox Robinson). 

My online conversations about the Rich book are archived on this site under Interviews. For a bio note about me, see my author’s page on the Penguin Random House website.

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