Lesbian feminist poet Adrienne Rich died March 27 at her home in Santa Cruz, Calif., according to the Washington Post. She was 82; son Pablo Conrad said she died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, SFGate.com reported.
Rich wrote more than 20 books of poetry.
In the 1970s, Rich was one of the first mainstream poets to write from a lesbian point of view. One of Rich's most famous books of poetry, 1973's Diving Into the Wreck, won the National Book Award. In her 1976 essay collection, Of Women Born, Rich started writing from an openly lesbian perspective, penning, "The suppressed lesbian I had been carrying in me since adolescence began to stretch her limbs."
"I write as woman, lesbian and feminist," she told The Washington Post in 1981. "I make no claim to be universal, neuter or androgynous."
In 1997, she refused to accept the National Medal of Arts, in part, as a protest against proposed funding cuts to the arts.
Rich was born May 16, 1929 in Baltimore, Md. Her father was a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School; her mother mother was a former concert pianist.
Rich married economics professor Alfred Conrad in 1953. After they divorced in 1970, he committed suicide. Michelle Cliff had been Rich's partner since 1976. Rich also has three sons and two grandchildren.