The Judy Grahn Reader contains work from every phase of Judy Grahn’s career,
including poems from all of her major poetry collects, such “The Common Woman,”
“A Woman is Talking to Death,” and the previously unpublished “Mental”;
a number of her groundbreaking essays (“Writing from A House of Women”
and the newly revised “Ground Zero: The Rise of Lesbian Feminism,” among others); as well as selected fiction and the full-length play, The Queen of Swords. Gathering together the varying strands of Grahn’s work together in this book makes visible the tremendous scope of her contribution as a feminist thinker, activist, and literary artist.
A SIMPLE REVOLUTION
The making of an Activist Poet
“A memoir rests on a foundation of memory that oozy and changeable bog, constructed more of feelings than sequences of events.” - Judy Grahn
Waverley Writers is an open poetry forum which meets
1059 A Classroom, Sofia University, 1069 East Meadow Circle, Palo Alto CA 94303
“An Evening with Judy Grahn and Friends” is a public event celebrating Judy and her latest book, A Simple Revolution. This memoir details her life and career dedicated to social justice, the Gay Women’s Liberation movement, LGBTQ activism and celebration of women in the arts. During this public event, she will speak, answer questions and engage in conversation with panelists, some of whom have analogous histories in the Gay Women’s or Men’s Liberation movement.
A Simple Revolutionhas been nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction and a Lambda award for best book in 2013 in the category of lesbian memoir/biography.
Judy Grahn has been an activist for human and civil rights for over forty years. Her most recent publication is A Simple Revolution, a unique memoir and dramatic narrative of Grahn's working class roots, her military discharge for being a lesbian, her education as one of the first whites to attend Howard University, and her life as a celebrated poet in the Bay Area during the beginnings of the lesbian movements in the late 60s. Some of her other books include The Work of a Common Woman; Another Mother Tongue; Queen of Wands; Queen of Swords; A Woman is Talking to Death; Blood, Bread and Roses;Love Belongs To Those Who Do the Feeling; and The Judy Grahn Reader.
Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document women's history from an international perspective. Her work bridges the gap between academia and grassroots education. It foregrounds indigenous women passed over by standard histories and highlights female spheres of power retained even in patriarchal societies.
Mandisa Wood is an educator, artist and dancer, using the arts as tools for self-expression and growth. She received her M.A. and M.F.A. in Women's Spirituality and Creative Inquiry from New College of California and is currently adjunct faculty at Sofia University in the Women's Spirituality Department.
Carolyn Cooke is an author and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. She is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. Cooke’s novel, Daughters of the Revolution (Knopt), was short-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize for a first novel, and was named among the Top Ten Books of 2011 by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Felice Picano is the author of more than twenty-five books including poetry, fiction, memoirs, nonfiction, and plays. He is also a professor at Antioch College in Los Angeles. He is considered a founder of modern gay literature along with the other members of the Violet Quill. Picano also began and operated the SeaHorse Press and Gay Presses of New York for fifteen years. He has been nominated for and/or won dozens of literary awards.
Compiled in one book for the first time, featuring both new and out of print pieces, the contents of The Judy Grahn Reader span four decades of work by the prominent writer and activist. This volume contains writing from every phase of Judy Grahn’s career, including poems from all of her major poetry collections, such as “The Common Woman,” “A Woman is Talking to Death,” and the previously unpublished “Mental”; a number of her groundbreaking essays (“Writing from a House of Women” and the newly revised “Ground Zero: The Rise of Lesbian Feminism,” among others); as well as selected fiction and the full-length play The Queen of Swords. As Judy Grahn's writing continues to be relevant in today’s social, political and cultural climate, this comprehensive volume gathers the varying strands of her writing and makes visible the tremendous scope of her ongoing contribution as a feminist thinker, activist, and literary artist.
Judy Grahn is the direct inheritor of that passion for life in the woman poet, that instinct for true power, not domination, which poets like Barrett Browning, Dickinson, H.D., were asserting in their own very different ways and voices.
—Adrienne Rich, from On Lies, Secrets, and Silence
People always ask me about my favorite musicians but no one ever asks about my favorite poets. When I was nineteen I discovered the poetry of Judy Grahn, and I was so moved by "A Woman Is Talking to Death", it’s still one of my favorite poems ever, in the world.
Judy Grahn has done more to create a women’s literature than any other writer in the past half century.
Available at www.AuntLute.com
Gay - Lesbian - Spirituality - Foremother The Common Woman’s Poet
YOU MIGHT ALREADY KNOW
Judy Grahn’s poetry has a legendary quality, which you may have read or heard any number of ways. You may know the slogan, “the common woman is as common as good bread, and will rise….” from one of her widely quoted “Common Woman Poems”. You may have heard Ani DiFranco read “Detroit Annie” at her Carnegie Hall concert in 2002. You may have read about Judy on Modern American Poetry site, or seen one of her poems at the World Poetry Translation Project online site.You may have been shocked to see, “I am the dyke in the matter…” as graffiti on an overpass in London in the 1980’s, or seen Judy’s name and picture on a placard carried by Argentine lesbian activists at the Plaza de las Mujeresin Buenas Aires.
Or perhaps you studied “A Woman Is Talking to Death” in a literature class in college, or took an evening to read it to your best friend.
Judy with video camera
Then again, you may also know Judy as a cultural theorist, a poet-philosopher of our times and ways.Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds may hold a cherished space for you, because it explores social meanings of queer lives. And most people do love to have meaning. You may be one of the men or women who wrote her a tender letter about this classic book. And, you may be looking for a new direction, and love her new origin story about who we are as evolving humans and ritual beings. To learn about a philosophy that is sensible, inclusive, and hopeful:at www.Metaformia.org please find an exciting journal of menstruation and culture with a link to Blood Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World, which you can read online.
Copyright Judy Grahn, all Rights Reserved, 2007
All material on this site is copyright 2007 Judy Grahn. All rights reserved.