Audre Lorde and Etheridge Knight: September 26, 1974

The Poetry Center presents Audre Lorde and Etheridge Knight, both reading from their work as published by Dudley Randall's Detroit based Broadside Press. The poets are introduced in turn by Poetry Center director Kathleen Fraser (*) and by Paul Mariah, editor and publisher of Manroot magazine and small press. Lorde reads from the manuscript to New York Head Shop and Museum (Broadside Press, 1974), which she notes is forthcoming later that year, and "a very recent poem" on the recent police murder of a young black child in New York City. Knight reads poems that range from his first book, Poems from Prison (Broadside Press, 1968, with a Preface by Gwendolyn Brooks) to his then most-recent collection, Belly Song & other poems (Broadside Press, 1973).

Note:(*) Fraser's introduction was recorded and dubbed in after the event of the reading. As Lorde enters, one can just glimpse Diane di Prima, publisher of Lorde's first book of poems (The First Cities, Poets Press, 1968), leaving the stage. It's likely that the original recording failed to document di Prima's introduction of Lorde, and Fraser's was substituted. Brief audio issues appear in the early parts of Lorde's reading, then resolve. Following Paul Mariah's introduction to Knight, the opening remarks by Knight are occluded by a loud buzz. As the poet's words can be understood if one strains, this distorted section has been retained for the video. From the start of Knight's first poem the audio is clear. 

Audre Lorde's reading here, her first of two appearances with The Poetry Center, was earlier posted in the featured collection Black Women in the Archives, curated by Arisa White. 

American Poetry Archives
The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University
Event Run Time
Kathleen Fraser
Paul Mariah
Diane di Prima

Audre Lorde (00:19:27)

Etheridge Knight (00:30:51)

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