Bookplanet: Adrienne Rich interview
And how has the culture changed since 9/11? "Horribly for the worse," Rich said. "'Market' values have become the sole measure of anything and everything. Oppositional voices have less and less space. Poverty--which I think of as an index to the culture, an indefensible phenomenon in any developed nation, certainly the wealthiest in the world--is much worse, and will go on worsening."
What advice--and what warnings--does she offer younger poets? "If you are troubled by the cruelty and violence and lovelessness you see around you," Rich said, "if you want to live in your time and not in some Hollywood or videogame fantasy, if you've seen people around you pushed around or crushed ... If you love language and see it being betrayed, if you feel a huge gap between what you're told is going on and what you actually see and feel on your nerves--then this is the material of your art, there's no escaping it. The question then is, how do you make enduring beauty and form out of such materials? And that will be the question of a lifetime." Full interview here.