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Audre Lorde – Poems, Death & Facts

Audre Lorde wrote the poetry collections ‘From a Land Where Other People Live’ and ‘The Black Unicorn,’ as well as memoirs like ‘A Burst of Light.’

Who Was Audre Lorde?

Audre Lorde attended Hunter College and Columbia University and was a librarian for several years before publishing her first volume of poetry, First Cities, in 1968. More successful collections followed, including From a Land Where Other People Live (1973) and The Black Unicorn (1978). Lorde also wrote the memoirs The Cancer Journals (1980) and A Burst of Light (1988).

Early Life

Audre Geraldine Lorde was born on February 18, 1934, in New York City, and went on to become a leading African American poet and essayist who gave voice to issues of race, gender and sexuality. Lorde’s love of poetry started at a young age, and she began writing as a teenager. She attended Hunter College, working to support herself through school. After graduating in 1959, she went on to get a master’s degree in library science from Columbia University in 1961.

First Work Published

Lorde’s life changed dramatically in 1968. Her first volume of poetry, First Cities, was published, and, that same year, she left her job as a head librarian at Town School Library in New York City. Also in 1968, Lorde taught a poetry workshop at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, witnessing first-hand the deep racial tensions in the South. There she would publish her second volume of poetry entitled Cables to Rage (1970), which took on themes of love, deceit and family, and which also addressed her own sexuality in the poem, “Martha.” She would later teach at John Jay College and Hunter College in New York.



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