Poetry. African American Studies. LGBT Studies. LIVING AS A LESBIAN is Cheryl Clarke's paean to lesbian life. Filled with sounds from her childhood in Washington, DC, the riffs of jazz musicians, and bluesy incantations, LIVING AS A LESBIAN sings like a marimba, whispering "i am, i am in love with you." LIVING AS A LESBIAN chronicles Clarke's years of literary and political activism with anger, passion, and determination. Clarke mourns the death of Kimako Baraka, "sister of famous artist brother," celebrates the life of Indira Gandhi, and chronicles all kinds of disasters—natural and human-made. The world is large in LIVING AS A LESBIAN but also personal and intimate. These poems are closely observed and finely wrought with Clarke's characteristic charm and wit shining throughout. In 1986, LIVING AS A LESBIAN captured the vitality and volatility of the lesbian world; today, in a world both changed and unchanged, Clarke's poems continue to illuminate our lives and make new meanings for LIVING AS A LESBIAN.
Cheryl Clarke is a black lesbian feminist poet and facilitator of things black, queer, and feminist. She is the author of five books of poetry: BY MY PRECISE HAIRCUT (The Word Works, 2016), Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (Kitchen Table/Women of Color, 1983), LIVING AS A LESBIAN (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2014), Humid Pitch (Firebrand Books, 1989), and Experimental Love (Firebrand Books, 1993), and of the critical study After Mecca: Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement (Rutgers Press, 2005). Her collected work, The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry 1980-2005 was published in 2006 by Carroll and Graf. She received the David Kessler Award in 2013 from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies for her service to LGBTQ communities. After 41 years in the administration of Rutgers University, she is now co-organizer of the Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, NY.Author City: JERSEY CITY, NJ USA