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The Audre Lorde Compendium (Audre Lorde 1934-92)

  I came to this book seeking the solace of poetry. There is none in it. Instead it contains the prose writings of the phenomenal writer, Audre Lorde. Audre Lorde speaks of how she wrote poetry to try to fix or conjure feelings, thoughts, phenomena which seemed impossible to express through ordinary speech. She only began to write in prose very late in her writing. The essays combine to tell her remarkable journey as a feminist, lesbian writer. Her most famous exhortation is for women to speak out about their lives – even though this is a fearful process when the opposition to their voices is great – so that they learn what issues and experiences women share and how best they can combine to address them. ‘Silence will not protect you’. I was particularly interested in her descriptions of her relationship with her mother, her time in Mexico City, how she found her way to teach at Tougaloo, a Black college in Mississippi and how she got the impression that the Harlem Writers Guild thought she was ‘crazy and queer but that she would grow out of it all’!  Now to find her...