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PEN West: A Reading with Sandra M. Gilbert

book covers of judgment day by Sandra M. Gilbert and Adrienne Rich: Essential Essays

PEN West will feature Sandra M. Gilbert in an afternoon reading of Judgment Day and her edited collection, Adrienne Rich: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry—Essential Essays on March 9 from 3-5pm. 

Please RSVP to Director of PEN West Wendy Martin to receive event details: [email protected].


Judgment Day
In this rapacious world, we eat or are eaten—so poet-critic Sandra M. Gilbert suggests throughout Judgment Day, her 10th collection of poems. Tracing this theme through the range of histories that make us who we are—private, public, religious, artistic, even culinary—Gilbert meditates on recent events as well as the sacred turnings of time, great works of graphic art, and the personal crises that continually reshape our lives.

Adrienne Rich: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry—Essential Essays
Essential Essays is edited and includes an introduction by leading feminist scholar, literary critic, and poet Sandra M. Gilbert. Emphasizing National Book Award winner Adrienne Rich’s lifelong intellectual engagement, the essays selected range from the 1960s to 2008. The volume contains one of Rich’s earliest essays, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” which discusses the need for female self-definition, along with excerpts from her ambitious, ground-breaking Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. As The New York Times wrote, Rich “brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse,” as evidenced in her 1980 essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.”


Sandra M. Gilbert is Distinguished Professor of English Emerita at the University of California, Davis. She and her co-author, Susan Gubar, Professor Emerita of English at Indiana University are well known for their book, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th-century Literary Imagination, as well as The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Traditions in English.

In addition to her scholarly work, Sandra Gilbert is also a poet and memoirist. Billy Collins has praised her poetry collection, Belongings (2006), as “a stellar collection by a virtuoso with heart.” And Eavan Boland has observed that Gilbert’s recently released collection of poems, Judgment Day (Norton, March 2019) is filled with “Unswerving perspectives on beauty and pain—on age, and loss—that give grace and surprise to each page.” 

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