Self-proclaimed “black lesbian feminist mother warrior poet.”
Born the last of three sisters, world famous Audrey Lorde during her early childhood combated several intimidating life challenges, teaching herself to read despite being “legally blind, and didn’t speak till age four. Adulthood didn’t bring much ease either.
During her extraordinary life, she dedicated herself to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia.
Audre Lorde wrote her first poem in l eighth grade. In her senior class, she became the editor of the school magazine. Her career as a poet began to show promise from 1962 and amazingly at age 17 she had her first poem published in ‘Seventeen Magazine’, it was a tribute to her first love.
A firm believer of education, Audrey Lorde took up odd jobs to support her college education. She later kicked off her career as a librarian and caught up on her love for writing poems, going ahead to teach English, this she did in a few colleges.
She earned her B.A. degree before proceeding to Columbia University and acquiring her master’s in library science in 1961
She published her first book of poems around the age of 34 and continued with many others which were warmly received as well. Audrey’s successful career churned in many accolades including being inducted into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display in Chicago, Illinois, that celebrates LGBT history and people in 2014.
Coal’ is one of Lorde’s most acclaimed works in poetry, while her most famous essay is “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.
A fighting spirit!
As years passed, Audre Lorde
was diagnosed with liver cancer but despite the progressing sickness, she refused to give up, publishing ‘Our Dead Behind Us’ in 1986 and ‘A Burst of Light’ in 1988. Her last volume of poetry, ‘The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems, 1987-1992’, was published posthumously in 1993.
Audre Lorde who also suffered from breast cancer, battled the disease for 14 years.
On November 17, 1992, Audre Lorde died of liver cancer in St. Crux, at 58 years old.