The queen of wands: poetry

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Crossing Press, 1982 - Poetry - 111 pages
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User Review  - Shari - Goodreads

Judy Grahn is my favorite poet, and this is my favorite collection. Read full review

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About the author (1982)

Grahn is a lesbian feminist poet, fiction writer, publisher, and cultural critic of note. Born in Chicago, she grew up in New Mexico and at age 21 was expelled from the Air Force for being a lesbian. Over the years she attended six colleges, where she studied poetry, and she completed her B.A. at San Francisco State University in 1984. She has taught lesbian and gay studies and women's writing, co-founded a women's press (The Women's Press Collective of Oakland), and was at the forefront of a West Coast poetry "renaissance" of the 1970s, along with Susan Griffin, Pat Parker, and Alta. In her work, Grahn seeks to link various oppressions in order to facilitate the emergence of coalitions of the oppressed. She draws her themes and images from ancient myths, Western literary and philosophical traditions, and historical and social trends, defining---or redefining---them as expressing feminine and homoerotic desire and then appropriating them for their subversive potential. For example, she invents a new, more expressive "American sonnet" for "The Common Woman" sequence in Edward the Dyke and Other Poems (1971), which celebrates both women's differences and commonalities. In She, Who (1977), she rewrites scripture as feminist experimental verse. Although she first came to critical attention with her poetry, Grahn is now also known for her cultural and literary criticism. Her two editions of Another Mother Tongue (1979, 1984) offer a wealth of information about gay identities throughout history, which Grahn links to a number of myth systems and languages in a form that blends poetry, legend, autobiography, and etymology. In effect, she imaginatively retrieves and invents gay cultural history, mythology, and language (the "other mother tongue" of the title).

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