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The Political & The Personal: The Poetry of the Women’s Liberation Movement
March 26, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Drawing on personal experiences and scholarship, Deborah Rosenfelt, Ph.D., Professor Emerita in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland, will reflect on the contributions of poets of the late 20th century Women’s Liberation Movement in shaping thought and action. Audre Lorde, one of the most influential Movement poets, famously asserted “Poetry Is Not a Luxury.” Lorde saw poetry as a source of deep personal and communal knowledge, forming “the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change.” Her definition is linked to one of the central slogans of the movement: “the personal is political.” Examining selected poems, we’ll discuss how women’s poetry, along with other forms of art and thought, helped to expand the meaning of “the political” and played a crucial role in envisioning the need and possibilities for social change.