Croix, U. Virgin Islands , American poet, essayist, and autobiographer known for her passionate writings on lesbian feminism and racial issues. She married in and wrote poetry while working as a librarian at Town School in New York; she also taught English at Hunter College. Cables to Rage explored her anger at social and personal injustice and contained the first poetic expression of her lesbianism. Most critics consider The Black Unicorn to be her finest poetic work. In the collection she turned from the urban themes of her early work, looking instead to Africa, and wrote on her role as mother and daughter, using rich imagery and mythology.
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She grew up in Manhattan where she attended Catholic school. She loved to read poetry, often reciting whole poems or individual lines to communicate with people. When she could no longer find poems that expressed her feelings, she started writing her own poetry. Her first poem to be published appeared in Seventeen magazine when she was still in high school. Lorde attended Hunter College, graduating in with a bachelor's degree.
In she received a masters in library science from Columbia University and worked as a librarian at Mount Vernon Public Library until Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities , was also published in Dudley Randall, a black critic and poet described The First Cities as a "quiet, introspective book," focusing on feelings and relationships.
Lorde's second volume, Cables to Rage was published outside the United States. The poems focused on several themes: the transience of human love, the existence of human betrayal, birth, and love.
Nominated for a National Book Award, this volume portrayed a quiet anger of global injustice and oppression along with more personal themes of nurturing, tenderness and love for her children. New York Head Shot and Museum , probably her most political and rhetorical work was published in Writing from the perspective of a city dweller, the poems in this volume express her visions of life in New York City, intertwined with themes of what it is like to be a woman, a mother and Black.
Coal , published in by W. Norton was the first of Lorde's books to be released by a major publisher. A compilation of her first two books, it brought her work to a broader readership. Her seventh book of poetry, The Black Unicorn is considered to be her most revealing work and the apex of her poetic and personal vision.
Poet and critic Adrienne Rich said of The Black Unicorn : "refusing to be circumscribed by any simple identity, Audre Lorde writes as a Black woman, a mother, a daughter, a Lesbian, a feminist, a visionary; poems of elemental wildness and healing, nightmare and lucidity. A bout with cancer led Lorde to publish her first prose collection, The Cancer Journals. Lorde has worked intensively with women of color in many different countries and is a founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, a press which concentrates exclusively on publishing and distributing works of women of color from various communities.
Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies here and abroad, and her work has been translated into seven foreign languages. New York: Poets Press, London: Paul Breman, Detroit: Broadside Press, New York: Norton, Freedom Organizing Series, no.
Argyle, NY- Spinsters Ink, Watertown, MA: Persephone Press, The Crossing Press Feminist Series. Ithaca, NY- Firebrand Books, New York: Continuum, The Athene Series.
New York: Pergamon Press, In Diavazo, April , p. In Denver Quarterly, Spring 1, p. In The Progressive, January 1, p. Sound cassette. Cambridge, MA: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Los Angeles: Pacifica Tape Library, Sound cassette 2. Signature Series. Washington: Watershed Tapes, Sound cassettes 2. University Lecture Series. The black unicorn is impatient. It is not on her lap where the horn rests but deep in her moonpit growing.
The black unicorn is restless the black unicorn is unrelenting the black unicorn is not free. Sitting in Nedicks the women rally before they march discussing the problematic girls they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes a waiting brother to serve them first and the ladies neither notice nor reject the slighter pleasures of their slavery. But I who am bound by my mirror as well as my bed see causes in color as well as sex. Once the renegade flesh was gone fall air lay against my face sharp and blue as a needle but the rain fell through October and death lay a condemnation within my blood.
The smell of your neck in August a fine gold wire bejeweling war all the rest lies illusive as a farmhouse on the other side of a valley vanishing in the afternoon. Day three day four day ten the seventh step a veiled door leading to my golden anniversary flameproofed free-paper shredded in the teeth of a pillaging dog never to dream of spiders and when they turned the hoses upon me a burst of light.
But I who am bound by my mirror as well as my bed see causes in color as well as sex and sit here wondering which me will survive all these liberations.
She grew up in Manhattan where she attended Catholic school. She loved to read poetry, often reciting whole poems or individual lines to communicate with people. When she could no longer find poems that expressed her feelings, she started writing her own poetry. Her first poem to be published appeared in Seventeen magazine when she was still in high school.
About Audre Lorde
In relation to non- intersectional feminism in the United States, Lorde famously said, "those of us who stand outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference — those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older — know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master's house as their only source of support.
To write is to create something that will have its own life, Audre Lorde thought. A writer needs to hold her nerve, conquer her fears and speak out. She was 58 when she died in November Trying to imagine what she would have made of the world we live in today is not the least bit difficult. Her words are current and run alongside our lives.