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Judy Grahn


Judy Grahn is an internationally known poet, writer, and social theorist. She serves as executive core faculty and co-director of the Women’s Spirituality Program at Sofia University in Palo Alto, CA. She also teaches Creative Inquiry and Creative Writing in the Writing, Consciousness, and Creative Inquiry Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where she earned her Ph.D. in Integral Studies with an emphasis in Women’s Spirituality.


Her work has won several awards, including an NEA Grant, American Book Review Award, two American Book Awards, American Library Award, Lifetime Achievement Award (in Lesbian Letters), a Founding Foremothers of Women’s Spirituality Award, and an Independent Publisher Book Award. The Publishing Triangle, an association of lesbians and gay men in publishing, established an award in her name: The Judy Grahn Award, recognizing the best non-fiction book of the year that resonates themes and issues affecting lesbian lives.


To learn more about Judy and her work, visit her website.


The Judy Grahn Reader

Compiled in one book for the first time, featuring both new and out of print pieces, the contents of The Judy Grahn Reader span four decades of work by the prominent writer and activist. This volume contains writing from every phase of Judy Grahn’s career, including poems from all of her major poetry collections, such as “The Common Woman,” “A Woman is Talking to Death,” and the previously unpublished “Mental”; a number of her groundbreaking essays (“Writing from a House of Women” and the newly revised “Ground Zero: The Rise of Lesbian Feminism,” among others); as well as selected fiction and the full-length play The Queen of Swords. As Judy Grahn's writing continues to be relevant in today’s social, political and cultural climate, this comprehensive volume gathers the varying strands of her writing and makes visible the tremendous scope of her ongoing contribution as a feminist thinker, activist, and literary artist.

A Simple Revolution

Growing up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the lean child of working-class Chicago transplants, Judy Grahn hungered to connect with the larger world, to create a place for herself beyond the deprivations and repressions of small town, 1950s life. Refusing the imperative to silence that was her inheritance as a woman and as a lesbian, Grahn found her way to poetry, to activism, and to the intoxicating beauty and power of openly loving other women. In the process, she emerged not only as one of the most inspirational and influential figures of the gay women’s liberation movement, but as a poet whose vision and craft has helped to give voice to long-unexplored dimensions of women’s political and spiritual existence.    


In A Simple Revolution, Grahn refuses dramatic, psychological narratives that readers have come to expect in memoirs. What emerges is a new, deeply compelling story, grounded in honesty, humility, and compassion—compassion for herself and for the wonderful, if wounded, people who surround her… striking an artful balance between remembering her past, the past of others, and intervening politically in how we think about history.                                                                                                                                     —Julie Enszer, Lambda Literary

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