Over at Brain Pickings, they have reproduced Adrienne Rich’s letter to President Clinton and The National Endowment for the Arts, where she declines her National Medal for the Arts award. The letter is short, but has powerful paragraphs like this one:
There is no simple formula for the relationship of art to justice. But I do know that art—in my own case the art of poetry—means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage. The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate. A President cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.
There is also audio of Rich reading the letter on Democracy Now‘s radio show.