Revised and updated edition of Judy Grahn's groundbreaking book on the lesbian poetic tradition.
In 1985, Judy Grahn boldly declared that lesbians have a poetic tradition and mapped it from Sappho to the present day in the groundbreaking book, THE HIGHEST APPLE. In this new and updated edition of THE HIGHEST APPLE: SAPPHO AND THE LESBIAN POETIC TRADITION, Grahn revisits the original text with her characteristic ferocious intellect, passion for historical research, careful close readings, and dynamic storytelling. Grahn situates poetry by Sappho, Emily Dickinson, Amy Lowell, H.D., Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich Paula Gunn Allen, Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and Olga Broumas as central to lesbian culture—and more radically as central to society as a whole.
This new edition of THE HIGHEST APPLE: SAPPHO AND THE LESBIAN POETIC TRADITION includes Grahn’s in depth analysis of poetic work by her friend and comrade Pat Parker and suggests a transactional approach to poetry as uncovering layers of the self. Grahn assembled this text in conversation with two younger lesbian poets, Alicia Mountain and Alyse Knorr, demonstrating the continued relevance and dynamism of THE HIGHEST APPLE for contemporary readers. A new introduction by Grahn, a foreword by Alyse Knorr, and editor notes by Alicia Mountain along with six responses by contemporary poets Donika Kelly, Kim Shuck, Serena Chopra, Zoe Tuck, Saretta Morgan, and Khadijah Queen highlight the on-going significance of THE HIGHEST APPLE to readers, writers, and thinkers.
Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Essay. Literary Criticism. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
“Poetry was important to the women’s movement and especially so to Lesbians. More than one Lesbian has been kept from floundering on the rocks of alienation from her own culture, her own center, by having access, at least, to Lesbian poetry. . . .Through the centuries, our poetry has held that position in the branches of its lines, in fragments, and in the code of imagery. It is time, now, to begin to reveal that tradition.”
—From Judy Grahn’s Introduction to The Highest Apple
Judy Grahn is an internationally-recognized poet, writer, and social theorist. She is the author of fourteen books including the ground-breaking Another Mother Tongue (Beacon Press, 1984), Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World (Beacon Press, 1993), and most recently, A SIMPLE REVOLUTION (Aunt Lute, 2012), Eruptions of Inanna (Nightboat Books, 2021), and Hanging on Our Own Bones (Arktoi Books, 2017).