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A. Lorde “Your Silence Will Not Protect You”


Your Silence Will Not Protect You is a 2017 posthumous collection of essays, speeches, and poems by African American author and poet Audre Lorde. It is the first time a British publisher collected Lorde’s work into one volume. The collection focuses on key themes such as: shifting language into action, silence as a form of violence, and the importance of history.

Audre Lorde (1934-92) described herself as ‘Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet’. Her extraordinary belief in the power of language – of speaking – to articulate selfhood, confront injustice and bring about change in the world remains as transformative today as it was then, and no less urgent.

Your Silence Will Not Protect You brings Lorde’s poetry and prose together for the first time.

The collection is made up of five sections. A preface by Reni Eddo-Lodge, an introduction by Sara Ahmed, 13 essays, and 17 poems, and a Note on the Text. As the Note on the Text states, many of the essays in the collection were given as papers at conferences across the U.S. Further, Lorde often revised early poems and re-published them, so many of the poems in this collection are the latest versions of Lorde’s work.

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