HRC Blog

Pioneering Lesbian Poet Adrienne Rich Dead at 82

Adrienne RichPost submitted by Eric Cameron, HRC Digital Media Specialist

Esteemed poet Adrienne Rich, known for her writings on feminism and lesbian identity, has died at age 82.

Rich died Tuesday at her home in southern California from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The award-winning poet wrote passionately about issues of gender, race and class across her 60-year career.

After coming out in the 1970s, Rich also became one of the first mainstream poets to write from a distinctly lesbian point of view. Her 1980 essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Continuum” remains a cornerstone in the gender studies cannon.

HRC remembers Adrienne Rich as a pioneer, advocate and inspiring agent of political change.

Photo by Stuart Ramson / AP

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