Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) was a renowned feminist poet throughout the second half of the 20th century. Her poems explored themes of feminism, social justice, queerness and environmentalism. One of my favorites is called “My heart is moved.” “My heart is moved by all I cannot save: / so much has been destroyed / I have to cast my lot with those / who age after age, perversely, / with no extraordinary power, / reconstitute the world.” Two of the most influential people in my life, a married couple who teach at my public high school, introduced me to this poem.
I identify as religious. My father comes from a long line of Irish-Catholics; he and my mother, who was raised Lutheran, decided to raise my sisters and me in the Catholic Church. In high school, my religious identity became an active choice: even when my parents took breaks from going to church, I would drive myself.