11 April 2017

Favorite Poems & Poets: Judy Grahn

I discovered Judy Grahn waaaay back when I was a 90s-era college freshman, lurking in the library stacks, looking for something I couldn't begin to articulate. Like many people of that age and time, I was full of unfamiliar stirrings and oh-so-many FEELS but had no cultural, religious, or emotional frame to hang them on.


I was a bookish girl, you know. All my life, whenever I couldn't find the words to explain the world, books were there to help me. And I quite legitimately expected books would help me with the Big Queer Feels.

So I stumbled my way through reams of poetry and feminist essays until I found a version of myself and the world that felt "true." And Judy Grahn was a big part of that. First with her Another Mother Tongue and then, later, with her poetry.

In hindsight, it is clear I sometimes had no real understanding of what I read, but the words she chose ... the righteous tone of her arguments ... made me feel like I was part of something magnificent. That my feelings had a natural place in the universe and that the universe was not the narrow construct I feared it was.

So here's Ani Difranco (also a huge part of my coming to terms with all the Big Queer Feels) reading Grahn's "Detroit Annie, Hitchhiking" from The Work of a Common Woman. Happy National fucking Poetry Month, people.

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