on 16 August 2005
In Warrior Poet, Alexis De Veaux breaks through the myths and iconic status of Lorde and takes us on a journey of Lorde's transformation from lesbian "gal" to poet, social activist, cancer survivor and finally black feminist lesbian warrior poet. A homage to a great Black lesbian feminist - no one has come near Audre Lorde as yet - De Veaux is nonetheless brave enough to give us details of the not so pleasant side of Lorde such as her taking of amphetamines and bouts of abusive anger. She also lays open Lorde's relationship to white women which up to the last 10 years, dominated her friendships and affairs and her somewhat ambivalent relationship to Black women. All of which makes Lorde even more of an exceptional human being given that she had flaws like the rest of us.
An excellent first biography which has inspired me to revisit the works of Audre Lorde starting with the Cancer Journals. I begin with Cancer Journals because here I have a shared experience of the "fear, anger and disempowerment" that comes with breast cancer and the courage that comes with being a survivor. Alongside reading the essays, I am reading her poems which as well as being inspirational are a journal of her feelings and reflections on life.