WARRIOR POET: A BIOGRAPHY OF AUDRE LORDE -- the first and essential biography of the author, poet, and American icon of womanhood, black arts, and survival
Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde by Alexis De Veaux (2006, W. W. Norton & Company; 464 pages)
During her lifetime, Audre Lorde (1934-1992), author of the landmark Cancer Journals, created a mythic identity for herself that retains its vitality to this day. Drawing from the private archives of the poet's estate and numerous interviews, Alexis De Veaux demystifies Lorde's iconic status, charting her conservative childhood in Harlem; her early marriage to a white, gay man with whom she had two children; her emergence as an outspoken black feminist lesbian; and her canonization as a seminal poet of American literature.
This is the biography of the woman who wrote two of the most powerful sentences that I have ever read in relation to the concept of “difference,” “freedom,” “diversity,” and feminism: “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” And: “The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.”
One way to describe Audre Lorde is to say that she was a Caribbean-American writer, radical feminist, womanist, lesbian, and civil rights activist. And using her own words, she was a "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet." She is one of those “ mothers” that every woman should make a tribute to, for all the tools she left behind to us with her actions and her writing. This biography is a very interesting document of the life of a woman considered a heroine for so women.
From Poetry Daily, by Jacquelyn Pope:
“"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood," wrote Audre Lorde in her essay, "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action." Poet, activist and icon, Lorde profoundly shaped the women's and gay liberation movements of the 1970s and 1980s, and her words resonate powerfully today. This comprehensive biography, the first about Lorde to be published, fully renders Lorde's life and legacy, providing a vivid account of the development of her activism and documenting the evolution of her ideas over the course of her working life.”
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Recommended by: Maite