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literature

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Grahn, Judy (b. 1940)  
 
page: 1  2  3  

Grahn's project of imbuing all of our work and culture with healthy doses of common sense is perhaps nowhere more evident than in her recuperative literary criticism.

As a critic and historian, she has delineated a "Lesbian Poetic Tradition" in The Highest Apple (1985), a book dedicated "To All Lovers" (not only lesbians) and examining the work of nine poets--Emily Dickinson, Amy Lowell, H.D., Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Olga Broumas, Paula Gunn Allen, and herself--by linking them "in a tradition with Sappho."

Sponsor Message.

Her Really Reading Gertrude Stein (1989) not only recovers little-known works by this lesbian writer but, as a map of rereading, energetically and profoundly urges readers beyond fascination with her celebrity and into appreciation of Stein's widely admired but little-read texts.

One of the most important lesbian writers of our time, Judy Grahn continues to make vital contributions to audience development and literary production as she beckons each and every reader into a world exhilaratingly rich with common sense.

Martha Nell Smith
Stacy Steinberg

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literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Lesbian, 1900-1969

American lesbian literature prior to Stonewall exploited the "outlaw" status of the lesbian as it moved from encrypted strategies of expression to overt political celebrations of woman-for-woman passion.

literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall

Since Stonewall various political agendas have dominated American lesbian literature.

literature >> Overview:  Identity

Although the question of homosexual identity is a complex one, it has polarized activists, theorists, and literary critics into two primary camps, essentialists and constructionists, both of which can contribute usefully to an understanding of the gay and lesbian literary heritage.

literature >> Overview:  Interrelations of Gay and Lesbian Literature

Since the histories of gay men and lesbians are radically different, the challenge is to describe interrelations in the gay and lesbian literary heritages without blurring them into each other.

literature >> Overview:  Poetry: Lesbian

Since the 1960s, the general trend in lesbian poetry has been collective and political rather than purely aesthetic.

social sciences >> Overview:  Tarot

A set of 78 cards with evocative imagery, the Tarot is often used in fortune-telling, and also for self-discovery, meditation, and intuitive work.

literature >> Allen, Paula Gunn

Of mixed Native American, Scottish, and Lebanese heritage, American poet and literary scholar Paula Gunn Allen reinterprets the historic and mythic beliefs of Native Americans from a twentieth-century lesbian-feminist perspective.

literature >> Broumas, Olga

Greek-born lesbian poet and translator Olga Broumas writes openly erotic poems that combine ancient Greek echoes and late twentieth-century idiom.

literature >> Dickinson, Emily

Emily Dickinson's poems and letters to her sister-in-law Susan are both passionate and elusive in their homoeroticism.

literature >> Doolittle, Hilda

The bisexual poet and novelist Hilda Doolittle, who published under the initials H. D., wrote poems and autobiographical prose works that celebrate women's romantic relationships with each other.

literature >> Overview:  Gay and Lesbian Bookstores

The network of independent gay and lesbian bookstores that arose in the 1970s served as incubators for the literary and cultural development of the modern gay rights movement in the United States and abroad.

literature >> Lorde, Audre

The work of African-American activist and writer Audre Lord was greatly influenced by her lesbianism.

literature >> Lowell, Amy

Much of Amy Lowell's poetry is extremely frank, forthrightly sensual, and often overtly lesbian.

literature >> Rich, Adrienne

Adrienne Rich, who aestheticized politics and politicized aesthetics, is America's most widely read lesbian poet.

literature >> Sapphire (Ramona Lofton)

Bisexual African-American novelist, poet, and performance artist Sapphire came to public attention with works that focus on the harrowing realities of inner city existence.

literature >> Sappho

Admired through the ages as one of the greatest lyric poets, the ancient Greek writer Sappho is today esteemed by lesbians around the world as the archetypal lesbian and their symbolic mother.

literature >> Stein, Gertrude

In addition to becoming--with Alice B. Toklas--half of an iconic lesbian couple, Gertrude Stein was an important innovator and transformer of the English language.


    Bibliography
   

Avi-ram, Amitai F. "The Politics of the Refrain in Judy Grahn's A Woman is Talking to Death." Women and Language 10.2 (Spring 1987): 38-43.

Backus, Margot Gayle. "Judy Grahn and the Lesbian Invocational Elegy: Testimonial and Prophetic Responses to Social Death in 'A Woman Is Talking to Death.'" Signs 18.4 (1993): 815-837.

Carruthers, Mary J. "The Re-Vision of the Muse: Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Judy Grahn, Olga Broumas." The Hudson Review 36 (Summer 1983): 293-322.

Case, Sue-Ellen. "Judy Grahn's Gynopoetics: The Queen of Swords." Studies in the Literary Imagination 21.2 (Fall 1988): 47-67.

Montefiore, Jan. "'What words say': Three Women Poets Reading H.D." Agenda 25.3-4 (Autumn-Winter 1987-1988): 172-190.

Ostriker, Alicia. Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women's Poetry in America. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Smith, Martha Nell ; Steinberg, Stacy  
    Entry Title: Grahn, Judy  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 19, 2005  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/grahn_j.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  
 

 

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