Dead Poets, continued

Many thanks to Art Bar Reading Series and David Clink for the 2014 Dead Poets Society Night. In response to many questions I post the sources for my Audre Lorde readings.

From Lorde’s last collection, The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems 1987–1992, I read “Speechless” and “Change.”

I synthesized versions of the following statement she repeated numerous times in The Cancer Journals: “Once I accept the existence of dying, as a life process, who can ever have power over me again?” and “Maybe this is the chance to live and speak those things I really do believe, that power comes from moving into whatever I fear most that cannot be avoided. But will I ever be strong enough again to open my mouth and not have a cry of raw pain leap out?”

And I read what I call Audre Lorde’s I-can’t-breathe poem, “Power,” published in 1978 in The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde and available online from

Sadly, too little has changed, Audre. We still can’t breathe…

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