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Audre Lorde Biography

(1934–92), The First Cities, Cables to Rage, From a Land where Other People Live

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lights of Bohemia to Love in Livery

African-American feminist poet and essayist, born in Harlem of West Indian parentage, educated at Hunter College, Columbia University School of Library Science, and the University of Mexico. The First Cities (1968) was her first volume of poetry; other volumes include Cables to Rage (1970), From a Land where Other People Live (1973), New York Head Shop and Museum (1975), Between Ourselves (1976), Coal (1976), The Black Unicorn (1978), Chosen Poems—Old and New (1982), and Our Dead Behind Us (1987). She was outspoken on matters personal and political—racism, sexism, and sexual identity— in her works of non-fiction, autobiography, and what she called ‘biomythography’ (fiction combining elements of biography and history of myth), which include Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power (1978), The Cancer Journals (1980), a powerful pamphlet based on a diary kept during her battle with breast cancer, and Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982). Her essays are collected in Sister Outsider (1984) and A Burst of Light (1988).

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