Audre Lorde (1934-1992)

Audre Lorde , born in New York city to West Indian immigrant parents, was an American poetess and activist. She described herself as “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” and indeed those words could not express more perfectly the essence of this incredible woman. She dedicated both her life and work to combat racism, sexism, classism and homophobia. Lorde recalls that from a young age she would speak in poetry, choosing to express her feelings with the poems that she wrote or the ones she had read and had resonated with her. It is only natural then that Audre Lorde ended up giving us some of the most beautiful queer poems ever written.  As an example, here is her poem Recreation.

“Coming together

it is easier to work

after our bodies


paper and pen

neither care nor profit

whether we write or not

but as your body moves

under my hands

charged and waiting

we cut the leash

you create me against your thighs

hilly with images

moving through our word countries

my body

writes into your flesh

the poem

you make of me.

Touching you I catch midnight

as moon fires set in my throat

I love you flesh into blossom

I made you

and take you made

into me.”

Source: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1997)


She also wrote many poems about the injustices she felt she could not stay silent about. This is the case for her famous composition Power, in which she speaks about the shooting of a ten-year-old child by the police, and describes how she felt when she learnt the shooter had been acquitted.

Both the lives of Audre Lorde and James Baldwin show us how interconnected the fights for the human rights of minorities can be, and how important it is to support each other in our struggles, by listening to and supporting not only other communities, but also minorities within our own community. This is why this year, once again, we are choosing to share with you the works of LGBT+ authors of colour, of immigrant poets, of writers of different races, ethnicities, classes, religions and genders. Of course we cannot share as many as we would like, but we encourage you to keep celebrating our history by reading and talking about the stories of authors of all backgrounds. In the words of Lorde herself:

“Differences must serve as a ‘reason for celebration and growth’ ”

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