Exhaling in Verse

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simple_rev_cover_final_web-1A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet
by Judy Grahn
Aunt Lute Books
360 pages, $19.95

 

JUDY GRAHN was born in Chicago in 1940. This is just about the only ordinary thing that can be said about Grahn, a self-identified working-class lesbian poet who became an uncommonly powerful voice in the women’s and gay liberation movements of the 1970s.

Grahn’s new memoir, A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet, traces the provenance of her poems and the path they took from her life experience to the printed page. Writes Grahn, referring to her famous mimeographed, self-published collection of poems (1978): “After the Common Woman poems arrived, the wind holding my life in position suddenly exhaled, and everything changed. Women wanted copies and I could hardly keep enough on hand.”

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