“I am deliberate / and afraid / of nothing” Poetry and Protest: A Day in Honor of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker
At two events at The Poetry Center, an-all star lineup of poets pay tribute to Audre Lorde and Pat Parker. 1 – 3 p.m.: Judy Grahn, Jewelle Gomez and Avotcja Jiltonilro. 7 – 9 p.m.: Arisa White, Leila Weefur and Angela Hume. Free.
These events are supported, in part, by a grant to the Academy of American Poets from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of Poetry Coalition programs.
A self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992) was a native New Yorker and daughter of Caribbean immigrants. Her activism and published work speak to the importance of struggle for liberation among oppressed peoples and of organizing in coalition across differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age and ability.
Lorde’s notable collections of poetry include “The First Cities” (1968), “Cables to Rage” (1970), “From a Land Where Other People Live” (1973), “New York Head Shot and Museum” (1974), “Coal” (1976) and “The Black Unicorn” (1978). Her works of prose include “The Cancer Journals (1980) and “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” (1982).
Lorde’s many honors and awards include the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit, which conferred the mantle of New York State poet for 1991 – 1993.
SF State graduate Pat Parker (1944 – 1989) was active in the civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights movements in the 1960s. Along with Judy Grahn and others, she developed a community around lesbian poetry readings on the West Coast.
Parker’s five poetry collections are: “Jonestown and other madness” (1985), “Movement in Black” (1978), “Woman Slaughter” (1978), “Pit Stop” (1975) and “Child of Myself” (1972). She is known for her unflinching honesty in addressing issues of sex, race, motherhood, alcoholism and violence. She directed the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Oakland, founded the Black Women’s Revolutionary Council and the Women’s Press Collective and testified before the United Nations on the status of women.
The Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of more than 25 organizations dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Each March, members present programming across the country on a theme of social importance. The theme for March 2020 is “I am deliberate/ and afraid/ of nothing: Poetry and Protest.”