The Lesbian Herstory Archives is pleased to announce a marathon reading in celebration of the legacy of Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich, November 17, 2012, 12noon – 12midnight.

Full information is available online.

The date marks the year of Adrienne Rich’s death and the 20th anniversary of Audre Lorde’s passing. This event honors the life and work of Lorde and Rich and the ongoing dialogue they shared. Their work and presence as poets, theorists, activists and teachers has inspired decades of anti-racist, feminist, and lesbian feminist thought and activism. Both Lorde and Rich were committed supporters of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the Archives hold many of their manuscripts, personal papers, oral histories, and photographs.

We invite participants to read from the work of Lorde and Rich, and to share their own  responses, writing, and memories. Recordings of their speeches and the conversations they shared will be played, film footage will be shown, and images and objects from the Archives will be on display.

Co-sponsoring organizations and/or participants include:

  • Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
  • Belladonna Series
  • Black Women’s Blueprint
  • brooklyn boihood
  • Brooklyn College LGBTA
  • Callen Lorde Community Health Center
  • GRIOT Circle
  • Hetrick-Martin Institute
  • In the Flesh Magazine
  • New York City Latina Writer’s Group
  • Queer Memoir/Kelli Dunham
  • Rivers of Honey
  • SAGE: Senior Action in a Gay Environment
  • SIGNIFIED, a webseries & multi-platform documentary

To honor Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich’s commitment to the Lesbian Herstory Archives we are making our own commitment to the Archives and ask others to join us. To contribute the fundraising campaign in support of the Marathon Reading and the work of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, please click here.


Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992)
In one of her most often quoted essays, Lorde stated: “Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference—those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older—know that survival is not an academic skill…For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012)
In a 1997 letter written to Jane Alexander, then-chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, after Rich refused to accept the National Medal for the Arts, Rich wrote: “There is no simple formula for the relationship of art to justice. But I do know that art—in my own case the art of poetry—means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage.” Earlier, in her 1987 poem, “Dreamwood”, Rich wrote: “…she would recognize that poetry/isn’t revolution but a way of knowing/why it must come.”


The reading is open to the public, all are welcome. Reservations or registration are not required. Suggested donations will be collected at the door ($5-10), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 17, 2012, from 12noon – 12midnight

Location: The Lesbian Herstory Archives, 484 14th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Event URL:


The Lesbian Herstory Archives, which was founded in 1974 and continues to exist today as an all-volunteer-run nonprofit educational organization. We gather and preserve records of Lesbian lives and activities so that future generations will have ready access to materials relevant to their lives.

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