Last updated: October 25, 2004
Announcing a special OUT-FM broadcast
Featuring an interview by OUT-FM producer Nancy Kirton
Nancy Kirten (left) Alexis De Veaux (right)
Alexis De Veaux, from the Introduction to Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde. A self-described "black, lesbian, feminist, mother, poet warrior," [Lorde] entered many "homes," or social movements, throughout her life, and yet, until she relocated to the Caribbean, she remained
On Monday, November 1, 2004, from 2 to 4 PM, OUT-FM, a weekly radio program on WBAI 99.5FM Peace & Justice Radio airs a special program, Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde, during WBAI's Fall 2004 Membership Pledge Drive. The title of the program is taken from a recently published biography of Audre Lorde of the same name by noted author, historian, activist, scholar, Alexis De Veaux. To listen live Online go to www.wbai.org and click the "Listen Online" link at the top of the webpage.
During her lifetime Audre Lorde (1934-1992) crafted a mythic identity for herself that retains its vitality to this day. Alexis De Veaux demystifies Lorde's iconic status, charting her childhood in Harlem in the conservative household of Caribbean immigrant parents, her early marriage to a white, gay man with whom she had two children; her emergence as an outspoken black, feminist, lesbian poet; and her canonization as a seminal poet of American literature.
This OUT-FM broadcast explores the notion De Veaux puts forth in her biography that there were two lives led by Audre Lorde. Lorde's first life encompassed her upbringing in a conservative childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and her transformation into a gifted poet, mother and teacher - identities which De Veaux explains evolved "defined by [Lorde's] identity as a lesbian and by the development of a black lesbian eroticism within and without her work."
In her skillful interview with De Veaux, OUT-FM's Nancy Kirton encourages the biographer to elucidate how this eroticism became a source of power both in Lorde's writings and her "first life." As De Veaux writes, "her eroticism became essential to Audre Lorde's self actualization most specifically, when, in November 1977, she confronted the possibility of cancer in her life." Lorde's life with cancer is "the second life" explored.
This broadcast reveals aspects of Lorde's life as chronicled by De Veaux heretofore not known as the author reveals the relationship Lorde had with her parents; with her husband Edward Rollins, with her children Elizabeth Lorde Rollins and Jonathan Rollins; with her lesbian partners; with her writer contemporaries and publishers; with herself; and, finally, with cancer.
The interview ends with a poignant exchange between interviewer Kirton and author De Veaux about the sometimes public but finally very private yet brave process Lorde engaged to distance herself from her public persona in order to be able to care of herself when challenged by death.
The broadcast also features out lesbian and gay-male African American writers and activists performing Lorde's poetry and writing. Acclaimed fiction writer, Jewelle Gomez, noted poet, Cheryl Clarke, and activist James Credle, a founding member of People of All Colors Together, honor Lorde's memory with readings and personal reflections of how she impacted their writings and activism.
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And, please take note that...
Progressive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirit, queer
Normally OUT-FM Airs Mondays, 11AM - Noon
Serving the NY-NJ-CT Tri-state Area
ºWBAI 99.5FM is Peace & Justice Radio Broadcasting from New York City
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