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Interesting Facts about an American writer Audre Lorde



Interesting Facts about American writer Audre Lorde

Search engine giant Google illustrated by Los Angeles-based guest artist Monica Ahanonu—celebrates Audre Lorde’s 87th Birthday—in honor of U.S. Black History Month—with a slideshow Doodle on Feb 18th, 2021. She was an American writer, feminist, librarian, and civil rights activist known as a key figure of the Black and LGBTQ+ cultural movements of the 20th century.

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Here is a look at the life and work of Audre Lorde.


  • Birth name: Audrey Geraldine Lorde
  • Birthdate: February 18, 1934
  • Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
  • Died on: November 17, 1992 (aged 58)
  • Death place: Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, U.S.
  • Father name: Frederick Byron Lorde
  • Mother name: Linda Gertrude Belmar Lorde
  • Spouse(s): Edward Rollins
  • Children: Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Jonathon Rollins
  • Nationality: American
  • Sun Sign: Aquarius
  • Education:
    • National Autonomous University of Mexico
    • Hunter College (BA)
    • Columbia University (MLS)
  • Famous as: Writer, Activist, Librarian, Poet, Novelist, Feminist
  • Notable works:
    • The First Cities
    • Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
    • The Cancer Journals

55 Interesting Facts about Audre Lorde

  1. Audre Lorde was a prominent Afro-American writer, educationist, feminist, and civil rights activist.
  2. Audre Lorde was born on February 18, 1934, in Harlem, New York City. Named at birth as ‘Audrey’, she dropped the ‘y’ early in her childhood since she liked that Audre Lorde, both completion with ‘e’, sounded more symmetrical. She additionally hated the tail of ‘y’ hanging from her name.
  3. Her parents were of Afro-Caribbean descent. Her dad, Frederick Byron Lorde, initially from Barbados, was in the real estate business. He was extremely charming and aspiring; yet rather indifferent towards his children.
  4. Her mother, Linda nee Belmar, was from Grenada. Even though of African-Caribbean descent, she had lighter skin and was often passed as Spanish. She was likewise severe and Audre, born rebel, never had a simple relationship with her.
  5. Audre Lorde was born youthful of her parents’ three children, having two elder sisters named Phyllis and Helen. Born near-sighted to the point of being legally blind and tongue-tied, which restrained her speech improvement, she was never near her sisters.
  6. An uncommon child, she didn’t talk until she was four years of age. When she began speaking, Linda acquainted her with the alphabet and very soon she learned to read and write.
  7. From her childhood, Audre Lorde loved poetry, remembering every one of them. On the off chance that she was asked a question, she would discover something suitable, presenting that as her answer. Simultaneously, argumentative and resentful of her sisters, she was hard to manage. The beating would not straighten her.
  8. Beginning to write poems in her initial adolescents, she supported her college education by doing odd jobs and later started her career as a librarian. She discovered teaching as satisfying as writing poems and taught English in a few colleges.
  9. Audre Lorde started her education first at St. Mark’s School and later at St. Catherine School. The environment in these schools was so racist that the nuns discovered her interlaces, regularly Afro-American, inappropriate for the school. Truth be told, they don’t discover anything directly with her.
  10. After finishing her elementary education, she moved to Hunter College High School for her secondary education. Here she made friends with a group of rebels, meeting Diane di Prima, a fellow student, and a budding poet.
  11. Audre Lorde wrote her first poem when she was in her eighth grade. In her senior class, she became the editor of the school magazine. During this period, she additionally took part in John Henrik Clark’s Harlem Writers’ Guild, finding out about Africa from him.
  12. While Audre Lorde had been writing poems since the age of fifteen, her career as a poet began to bloom from 1962, when her verse previously showed up in Langston Hughes’ ‘New Negro Poets’. Along these lines, she started to have her poems published in several black literary magazines and foreign anthologies.
  13. At seventeen years old, she had her first poem published in ‘Seventeen Magazine’. Composed as a tribute to her first love, the poem was discovered to be excessively best in class for the school magazine.
  14. At the same time, she kept on write, publishing her first book of poems around the age of 34, which was immediately followed by others.
  15. Considering herself a “black, feminist, lesbian, mother and poet”, she likewise wrote in prose, lashing out at the treachery allotted to the marginalized. In any case, her anger was rarely dangerous.
  16. In 1951, on graduating from school, she entered Hunter College with English literature and philosophy, supporting herself with odd jobs, for example, ghostwriter, social worker, factory worker, X-ray technician, medical clerk, and so on. In light of her preoccupations, she required several years to acquire her bachelor’s degree.
  17. In 1954, Audre Lorde went through one year, studying at the National University of Mexico. The time spent there was vital to her, as it assisted her with attesting her identity both as a poet and a lesbian.
  18. On Audre Lorde’s re-visitation of New York, she rejoined Hunter College, acquiring her bachelor’s degree in 1959. During this period, she supported herself by working as a librarian. Simultaneously, she proceeded to write and started to partake effectively in Greenwich Village’s gay culture.
  19. On receiving her B.A. degree, Audre Lorde entered Columbia University, acquiring her master’s in library science in 1961. During this period, she established herself by working as a librarian at Mount Vernon Public library, a position she held until her marriage in 1962.
  20. In 1962, Audre Lorde married Edward Ashley Rollins, and had two children, Elizabeth and Jonathan, with him.
  21. In 1965, she joined St. Clare’s School of Nursing as a librarian, becoming the head librarian at The Town School in the next year, and held the position till 1968. From the start, she kept on publish poems in different journals.
  22. In 1967, Diane di Prima, who studied with her at Hunt Collage High School, encouraged her to set up a manuscript for her first book. Named, ‘The First Cities’, it was published by Poets Press in 1968. In the same year, she was offered the post of poet-in-residence at Tougaloo College.
  23. Tougaloo College was a small historically black institution in Mississippi. Even though her assignment was for six weeks only, she happily accepted the position, making a trip to the deep south for the first time in her life. It was additionally her first teaching job.
  24. At Tougaloo, Audre Lorde was presented with a very different experience, most of the students were African-Americans. This was additionally when African-American students were becoming militant. During this period, she wrote several poems, which were published as ‘Cables of Rage’ in 1970.
  25. Audre Lorde’s involvement with Tougaloo College additionally made her understand that teaching was a far more satisfying vocation than librarianship. She thought that it was like writing poetry, a method of self-expression.
  26. In 1968, she went alone to Mississippi, where she met Frances Clayton, a white woman. On getting back to New York, she decided to end her marriage, divorcing Rollins in 1970.
  27. On her re-visitation of New York, Audre Lorde joined the City University under the ‘Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge’ program, a pre-baccalaureate course for disadvantaged students. In the wake of teaching here for one year, she taught at Lehman College for a short period.
  28. In 1970, Audre Lorde joined John Jay College of Criminal Justice, under City University New York, as a Professor in English. During this period, she published a few books, the first being ‘From a Land Where Other People Live’ (1973). In this volume, she acquainted African mythology to express female ideas.
  29. In 1974, she published ‘New York Head Shop and Museum’, a book of poems that has frequently been characterized as her most radical work. In this work, she took her readers through the visual journey of the city, portraying neglect and poverty that goes up against its occupants.
  30. In 1976, Audre Lorde published ‘Coal’ and ‘Between Ourselves’. ‘Coal’, her first book to be published by a significant publisher, acquainted her with a more extensive readership.
  31. Albeit the book contained numerous previously published poems it is one of a kind in that it projects various layers of her identity; “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”
  32. In 1977, she got related with the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. In the same year, she went through surgery, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Afterward, she additionally needed to go through a mastectomy. She kept a detailed journal of her experience and published it as ‘The Cancer Journal’ in 1980.
  33. Additionally, in 1977, Audre Lorde gave a speech at the Lesbian and Literature Panel of the Modern Language Association. The speech would later become the first chapter of ‘The Cancer Journal’.
  34. In 1978, she had two additional books published; ‘Hanging Fire’ and ‘The Black Unicorn’. Among them, ‘The Black Unicorn’ is believed to be her most perplexing work. In this volume, Lorde acquaints African legends with American readers, in light of which she discussed her racial pride, womanhood, motherhood, and spirituality.
  35. ‘The Cancer Journal’, published in 1980 was her first work in prose. In it, Audre Lorde managed the Western notion of ailments, physical beauty, fear of death, and so on. In the same year, she additionally went to the UN World Women’s Conference in Copenhagen.
  36. In 1981, she joined Hunter College, involving the recognized Thomas Hunter chair. Simultaneously she kept teaching at City University. In the same year, she had another of her significant works published ‘Uses of the Erotic: the erotic as power’
  37. Proceeding to write, Audre Lorde had ‘Zami: A New Spelling of My Name’ published in 1983. It was an autobiography wherein she wrote about her life in the 1950s, calling it ‘biomythography’.
  38. In 1981, Audre Lorde won the American Library Association Gay Caucus Book of the Year Award for her 1980 book ‘The Cancer Journals’.
  39. Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, set up in 1983 for giving health care to New York’s LGBTQ population, has been named in her and Michael Callen’s honor.
  40. In 1984, he had ‘Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches’ published. The work, an assortment of fifteen essays and speeches from 1976 to 1984, is viewed as one of her most huge works of non-fiction prose, having an extraordinary impact on the development of feminist theories.
  1. In 1984, invited by Dagmar Schultz, Audre Lorde began a visiting professorship at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. There she touched the lives of numerous women and men, colored and whites, and inspired a considerable lot of them to write. In the same year, she was likewise diagnosed with liver cancer.
  2. Shortly after being diagnosed with liver cancer, Lorde moved to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, setting up her home in Judith’s Fancy zone. Here, she began on alternate treatment, ignoring the advice of notable cancer specialists.
  3. At some point now, Audre Lorde went through an African naming ceremony, taking up the African name of ‘Gamba Adisa’, hence intently accepting her pan-African identity. Moving nearer to it, she compared her cancer cells as the white police officers in South Africa during an interview during this period.
  4. Despite Audre Lorde’s ever-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.
  5. In 1989, Audre Lorde got the American Book Award for ‘A Burst of Light’.
  6. In 1990, along with Audre Lorde’s partner Gloria I. Joseph, she co-published ‘Hell Under God’s Order’. They additionally established a few associations in St. Crux, for example, the Che Lumumba School for Truth and the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix.
  7. In 1991, Audre Lorde became the Poet Laureate of New York, remaining so until her demise two years after the fact.
  8. In 1992, she got the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle.
  9. Audre Lorde was suffering from breast cancer and battled for 14 years against cancer. A warrior at heart, she never learned to give up, battling for rights till her death from stomach cancer at 58 years old.
  10. On November 17, 1992, Audre Lorde died of liver cancer in St. Crux, at 58 years old. She was then 58 years of age.
  11. ‘Coal’ is one of Lorde’s most acclaimed works in poetry. Consisting of five sections, the book investigates the various layers of her identity; a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”. A novel feature of this book is that her annoyance against racism isn’t destructive; yet has been changed into ‘self-assertion’.
  12. ‘Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches’ are maybe one of Audre Lorde’s most significant prose works. Through this work, she challenged sexism, racism, class, ageism, and homophobia; investigating the fear and hatred emerging in the marginalized segments of the society, for example, the African-Americans, lesbians, feminists, and even white women.
  13. In 2001, Publishing Triangle established the Audre Lorde Award to honor works of lesbian poetry.
  14. In 2014, Audre Lorde was inducted into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display in Chicago, Illinois, that celebrates LGBT history and individuals.
  15. On February 18, 2021, Google celebrated Audre Lorde’s 87th Birthday with a slideshow Doodle.
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