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“I have a duty,” Lorde once stated, “to speak the truth as I see it and to share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigating pain.” Lorde’s later poems were often assembled from personal journals.Explaining the genesis of “Power,” a poem about the police shooting of a ten-year-old black child, Lorde discussed her feelings when she learned that the officer involved had been acquitted: “A kind of fury rose up in me; the sky turned red. I felt as if I would drive this car into a wall, into the next person I saw. I took out my journal just to air some of my fury, to get it out of my fingertips.Recounting this personal transformation led Lorde to address the silence surrounding cancer, illness, and the lived experience of women.For example, Lorde explained her decision not to wear a prosthesis after undergoing a mastectomy in the “Prosthesis offers the empty comfort of ‘Nobody will know the difference.’ But it is that very difference which I wish to affirm, because I have lived it, and survived it, and wish to share that strength with other women.A self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. And I would recite a poem and somewhere in that poem would be a line or a feeling I would be sharing.Lorde was born in New York City to West Indian immigrant parents. In other words, I literally communicated through poetry.

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Lorde addressed her concerns to not only the United States but the world, encouraging a celebration of the differences that society instead used as tools of isolation.She also began teaching as poet-in-residence at Tougaloo College.Her experiences with teaching and pedagogy—as well as her place as a Black, queer woman in white academia—went on to inform her life and work.She attended Catholic school and published her first poem in “I used to speak in poetry. And when I couldn’t find the poems to express the things I was feeling, that’s what started me writing poetry, and that was when I was twelve or thirteen.” Lorde earned her BA from Hunter College and MLS from Columbia University.She was a librarian in the New York public schools throughout the 1960s.Indeed, Lorde’s contributions to feminist theory, critical race studies, and queer theory intertwine her personal experiences with broader political aims.Lorde articulated early on the intersections of race, class, and gender in canonical essays such as “The Master’s Tools Will Not Dismantle the Master’s House.” Lorde’s early collections of poetry include (1978), included powerful poems of protest.Instead, Lorde suggests, differences in race or class must serve as a ‘reason for celebration and growth.’” Lorde honors and awards included a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.A professor of English at John Jay College and Hunter College, Lorde was poet laureate of New York from 1991-1992.Those expressed feelings are that poem.” Her poetry, and “indeed all of her writing,” according to contributor Joan Martin in “rings with passion, sincerity, perception, and depth of feeling.” Concerned with modern society’s tendency to categorize groups of people, Lorde fought the marginalization of such categories as “lesbian” and “black woman.” She was central to many liberation movements and activist circles, including second-wave feminism, civil rights and Black cultural movements, and struggles for GLBQT equality.In particular, Lorde’s poetry is known for the power of its call for social and racial justice, as well as its depictions of queer experience and sexuality. Rowell in “My sexuality is part and parcel of who I am, and my poetry comes from the intersection of me and my worlds…


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