It’s National Library Workers Day! Meet Audre Lorde, Poet and Librarian! 

• She was born Audrey Geraldine Lorde in Harlem on February 18, 1934. Her parents were immigrants from the French West Indies. As a child, Lorde used poetry as a form of communication. She attended Hunter High School where she befriended classmates who also wrote poetry. While in high school her first poem was published in Seventeen Magazine.

• After high school, Lorde spent a year at the National University of Mexico. There she became comfortable with her identity as a lesbian and a poet. She returned to New York City to study Library Science at Hunter College. While in college she immersed herself in the gay culture scene in Greenwich Village. Lorde graduated in 1959 and received her Masters in Library Science from Columbia University two years later.

• Lorde worked as a librarian at Mount Vernon Public Library. She continued to write poetry, and her work was printed in many publications. She married a lawyer named Edward Rollins, with whom she had 2 children. They divorced in 1970.

• In 1968 Lorde received a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She used the grant to become a poet in residence at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Lorde published her first volume of poetry, The First Cities while at Tougaloo. She also met Frances Clayton, the woman who would become her longtime partner.

• Her next volume of poetry, Cables in Rage, spoke on the experiences of being a black woman, a mother, and a lesbian. Later works focused on subjects like intersectional feminism, privilege, sexuality, class, health. She published 15 collections of poetry during her life.

• Lorde passed away on November 11, 1992 . Her work is archived at The Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, and The Women’s Research and Resource Centre at Spelman College. The Audre Lorde Project, an organization for Queer People of Color was founded in Brooklyn in 1994.


AlysshaRose as Audre Lorde

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