Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde (Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American writer and activist.

She studied at the National University of Mexico for a year, and graduated from Hunter College in 1959. In 1961, she earned a master’s degree in library science from Columbia University. During her univeristy years, Audre also became active in the gay community of Greenwich Village.

Throughout the 1960s, Audre worked as a librarian in the New York public schools. In 1962, she married Edward Rollins, with whom she had two children. In 1968, she worked as poet-in-residence at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and the couple divorced shortly thereafter, in 1970. In 1972, Audre met her long-time partner, the academic Frances Clayton.

In 1977, Lorde became a member of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP). In 1984, she started a visiting professorship in West Berlin at the Free University of Berlin, which would have a huge impact on the black feminist movement in Germany. A professor of English at John Jay College and Hunter College, Lorde was also poet laureate of New York, from 1991 to 1992.

Audre described herself as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”

She died of liver cancer in 1992.


  • The First Cities, 1968
  • Cables to Rage, 1970
  • From a Land Where Other People Live, 1973
  • New York Head Shop and Museum, 1974
  • Coal,  1976
  • Between Our Selves, 1976
  • Hanging Fire, 1978
  • The Black Unicorn, 1978
  • The Cancer Journals, 1980
  • Uses of the Erotic: the erotic as power, 1981
  • Chosen Poems: Old and New,1982
  • Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, 1983
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, 1984
  • Our Dead Behind Us, 1986
  • A Burst of Light, 1988
  • The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance, 1993
  • I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde, 2009
  • Your Silence Will Not Protect You : Essays and Poems, 2017. 

About her

  • A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, documentary by Michelle Parkeson (1995, IMDb)
  • Women’s Stories of the Looking Glass: autobiographical reflections and self-representations in the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Audre Lorde., by Carmen Birkle (1996)
  • The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde, documentary by Jennifer Abod (2002, IMDb)
  • Warrior Poet: a biography of Audre Lorde, by Alexis De Veaux (2004)
  • Conversations with Audre Lorde, edited by Joan Wylie Hall (2004)
  • Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992, documentary by Dagmar Schultz (2012, IMDb)

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