Adrienne Rich, 'quite struck dumb'

Surely one of the highlights of my involvement with the Writers House Fellows program — which has brought three eminent writers to the cottage at 3805 Locust Walk each year since 1999 — was the visit in April 2005 of Adrienne Rich. She gave a wonderful reading and we had a terrific interview-style conversation the next morning. What stunned and moved me most was her very positive reaction to us and her praise of the Writers House and the students and even of me. Her response was everything we’d hope for when we experimentally created the Writers House in the first place — and more. Of the new poems (from School among the Ruins) she read for us, I was most taken by a short poem called “Wait.” Here is an mp3 of Rich reading the poem, and here is her thirty-four-second introduction of it.