Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde Picture(1934 – 1992) Poet

In 1954 Audre Lorde was a student at the National University of Mexico. Lorde describes her experience at NUM as “at time of affirmation and renewal” which is where she realized she identified on a personal and artistic levels as a lesbian and a poet. After attending Hunter College, Lorde worked as a librarian while continuing writing, and became an active participant in the gay culture of Greenwich Village.

Lorde won international acclaim for her poetry and prose, and was Poet Laureate of New York state from 1990 until 1991. “Zami: A  New Spelling of My Name” is her autobiography. Lord was a strong feminist who paid special attention to the erotic aspects of women’s lives, whether straight, bisexual, or lesbian. During a year in residence at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, Lorde met Frances Clayton, the woman who was to be her companion for twenty-two years, until Lorde’s death from cancer.

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“The Icon History Display was created by a student intern and is not meant to replace a comprehensive search on these historical figures. Content on these biographies was created from the following sources: Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgenders by Keith Stern (2009); The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present by Paul Russell (1995). To suggest an addition or change contact us at or 217-206-8316.”