Selected for the National Medal for the Arts in 1997, the highest award given to artists, Rich refused it.
“The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate,” she wrote in a letter addressed to then-President Clinton. “A president cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.”
Tell me she wasn't ahead of the curve. If you'd like a crash course in why April's National Poetry Month will now pretty much be dedicated to Rich, you should check out her Poets.org's profile page. where you can find samples of her work. This is not one of her prettier poems, but it gives you an idea of her writing: Passionate, challenging, and highly intelligent.