Audre Lorde 1934to –1992
Author, poet, feminist, and self-described warrior. She was born to Caribbean immigrants in Harlem and began writing poetry at a young age. Her childhood, years of sexual awakening, and experiences of the gay scene in 1950s Greenwich Village are detailed in her beautiful 1982 novel Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, which she called a “biomythography.” In addition to inventing genres, she also contributed to modern feminist thought by asserting that her dual identities as black and lesbian were intertwined, and by criticizing feminists in the 60s who ignored the racial and sexual divides that exist among women. She was the New York State Poet Laureate from 1991 until her death the following year, after a long battle with cancer.