Archive

“The Arrival” from A Simple Revolution

After a long process involving research and interviews, Judy Grahn’s remarkable memoir, A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet, is finally available in print. Through riveting accounts of her experience in an era of dramatic change, fear, repression, and liberation, Judy invites her readers to partake in intimate memories that remind us that the world we live in was made by struggles personal and public, lost and won. We share with you an excerpt from Chapter 2—“The Body and its Discontents,” in which Judy shares how she came to be a part of the revolutionary movement in the Bay Area. We hope you enjoy this selection, and that her book can find a loving home inside yours. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on author events, signings, and more.

“Site of the Crime” from A Simple Revolution

After a long process involving research and interviews, Judy Grahn’s remarkable memoir, A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet, is finally available in print. Through riveting accounts of her experience in an era of dramatic change, fear, repression, and liberation, Judy invites her readers to partake in intimate memories that remind us that the world we live in was made by struggles personal and public, lost and won. We share with you an excerpt from Chapter 2—“The Body and its Discontents,” in which Judy describes the persecution and criminalization she experienced as an out lesbian in the military. This passage highlights the visceral poetic narrative style and brazen commitment to honesty found throughout A Simple Revolution. We hope you enjoy this selection, and that her book can find a loving home inside yours. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on author events, signings, and more.

Capp Street and ‘The Common Woman Poems’ © 2012 Judy Grahn

As she enters the final stretch of her memoir, Judy Grahn reflects on her early days in San Francisco, the antiwar movement, and her induction into the feminist movement in this excerpt from A Simple Revolution.

Struggle as Activism? A letter from Aunt Lute Co-founder Joan Pinkvoss

It’s been almost two weeks since Aunt Lute’s well attended event at La Peña: the Simple Revolution reading, and a community dialogue which centered on the topic “Struggle, Then and Now.” After taking several days to digest the ideas presented by the readers, round table participants and audience, I wanted to find a way to [...]

Guest Blogger: Animal Prufrock – “I will begin with my name…”

I will begin with my name, Animal Prufrock. When I was fifteen years old, my high school English teacher introduced our class to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot. I was a very conscious teen with cosmic interests and an esoteric melancholia of my own―feeling very alone in my deep, while the superficial high school buzz filled the hallways and halftimes with cotton candy and cute shoes. I did have my own pair of cute shoes―the last vestige of butch I could express in the forced catholic pleated uniform that made me be a girl in the skirted way girls must be―even in 1990. I had an Italian Catholic name back then―long letters and lots of a’ & e’s and lli’s. If only I could have erased the last feminizing vowels, I would have been a boy.

Guest Blogger: Photographer Cathy Cade © 2012 Cathy Cade

This month’s guest blogger is photographer Cathy Cade, who has been publishing and exhibiting her work on LGBT communities for over 40 years. In this set of photos, ranging from 1972 to 2011, you’ll find Dykes on Bikes, Angela Davis, and Bank of America protests from 1972 and, more recently, the Occupy movement (2011). Mouseover “Notes” to view the captions for each photograph. You can view more of her work on her website.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Intergenerational Dialogue

Writing this memoir (A Simple Revolution) puts me back into a time that was very far in the past, when segregation, sexism, homophobia, and silence ruled everywhere. My generation, spurred by brave souls who had gone before us, broke through some walls, made some changes, and triggered off one hell of a backlash that has come to dominate the national scene—in the last decade especially. Thinking about those times makes me want to ask questions of younger people—especially LBGT younger people—who are engaged in today’s problems:
What do you see as your most pressing issues? What in society do you think needs to change? Is it jobs and housing? Is it how to keep a lover? Is it social justice? Is it not wanting to be defined or boxed in? What do you hope for your future? Do you feel a need for community around you or is it enough to have Facebook and Twitter? To have a virtual community? Are cross-generational friendships important to you?
I am genuinely interested in your responses and promise to check back here often. I’m excited to participate in a real dialogue around your concerns.

Guess When with Judy Grahn

Guess when each photo of Judy was taken and win a prize!
Photo courtesy of Lynda Koolish Photo courtesy of Cathy Cade

“Resolve” © 2011 Judy Grahn

In my senior year in high school I became fixated on the range of mountains outside our Mesilla Valley town, called the “Organ Mountains” because of their stark spires. My best friend’s boyfriend Skip offered to take me up their steep sides, and my friend Jan came with us. The daylong trip became an initiation [...]

“A Simple Dream and a Simple Revolution” © 2011 Judy Grahn

I want to tell you why I decided to call this community website (as well as a section from my memoir), “A Simple Revolution”. This phrase is adapted from my sister poet and friend Pat Parker’s poem, “It’s a Simple Dream”. In her poem, published in 1974, about four years into Gay Women’s Liberation, the narrator asserts that she doesn’t want a revolution that is of the vanguard, or of the masses or that turns the world all over, that she as a black gay woman just wants to walk down the streets holding hands with her lover, go to a bar, use a public bathroom—and not be arrested by the police, harassed by white bikers, beaten by her black brothers, screamed at by ladies (that is to say, straight women) in bathrooms.

Guest Contributors

Click here to read—and listen to—original stories in the new Guest Contributors section of our website!

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