Audre Lorde & Adrienne Rich Marathon Reading
Nov. 17, 2012, 12:00noon - 12:00midnight

Event Archive

To view the original event page, click here.

The purpose of this page is to provide archived audio from the event, selected photos, and links to published writing about the event.

On November 17, 2012, The Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA) celebrated the lives and contributions of Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich with a marathon reading of their work. Over 300 people, and close to 20 different organizations or groups, participated in the event, which took place at the Archives (484 14th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215). Countless works by Lorde and Rich were read aloud by those present. Artifacts and archival materials from both Lorde and Rich (both of whom have special collections housed at the Archives) were on display, including audio samples of both women speaking. In addition, many people who knew both Lorde and Rich were present and gave personal testimony of their experiences, while others who did not meet them spoke about the impact these two women had on their lives.

This event marked the twentieth anniversary of Audre Lorde's transition to becoming an ancestor and the year of Adrienne Rich's transition/passing. The joint celebration sought to honor their life-long dialogue on issues that remain critical in our lives.

***This page is still a work in progress. Thank you for your patience.***

Selected Photos

This is only a small sampling of the photos taken at the event. To view all the photos, please visit the Archives and request to view the materials from this event.

Photo: Sherley Olopherne

Photo: Sherley Olopherne

Photo: Sherley Olopherne

Photo: Sherley Olopherne

Photo: Sherley Olopherne

Photo: Sherley Olopherne

These photos are only for viewing purposes, they are the property of the photographers who took them and are part of the Lesbian Herstory Archives Collection. If you would like to make use of any of the images, you must obtain permission from the individual photographers. If you need assistance reaching one of the photographers, please contact the Archives.

Archived Audio

Click to listen to audio recordings of the event.

This audio is available here for listening purposes only, and the files are of lower quality so that they can easily be listened to on the web. These recordings are part of the Lesbian Herstory Archives Collection. If you would like to make use of any of the audio you must obtain permission from the Archives. You can also listen to higher quality audio by visiting the Archives.

• Introduction to the event by organizers and the Archives. MP3

• Nivea Castro facilitates. MP3

• SAGE facilitates, first hour. MP3

• SAGE facilitates, second hour. MP3

• Open reading hour. MP3

• Black Women's Blueprint facilitates. MP3

• Alicia Anabel Santos and New York City Latina Writer's Group facilitate. MP3

• The Belladonna Series facilitates. MP3

• R. Erica Doyle facilitates. MP3

• Brooklyn Boihood facilitates. MP3

• Rivers of Honey facilitates. MP3

• Queer Memoir facilitates. MP3

ALSO: On 9 January 2013, WBAI/OUTFM aired a special segment about the Marathon Reading put together by Tricia Spoto, who was one of the volunteers who helped throughout the day of the event. Follow this link to hear the archived episode (use the 'Listen Here' link to listen—the segment about the marathon reading starts 35 minutes into the episode).


This event was featured in the following publications:

• Alexis Clements, Flavia Rando, and Shawn(ta) Smith. “Living Our Lives through Their Words: Reflections on the Marathon Reading of Work by Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, November 17, 2012.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 2013 (Vol. 34, No. 2), p. 261-9. Online and in Print.

• Gabrielle Korn. "You Should Go: Lesbian Herstory Archives Marathon Reading—Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich." Autostraddle. Nov. 14, 2012. Online.

The event was also written up by SheWired, Lambda Literary, Velvetpark, TimeOut New York, and the Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog, among others.


We would like to thank all those who helped to make the event possible.

Facilitators: Nivea Castro; SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders); the Archives' Lesbian Studies Class; Black Women's Blueprint; Alicia Anabel Santos and New York City Latina Writer's Group; The Belladonna Series; R. Erica Doyle; brooklyn boihood; Rivers of Honey; and Kelli Dunham/Queer Memoir.

Individual volunteers: Donna U. Hope, Elfie Knecht; Jordan Knight; Alysse Padilla; Tricia Spoto; Tara Thierry; Desiree Yael Vester

Other organizations who provided support in a variety of ways: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; Brooklyn College LGBTA; Callen Lorde Community Health Center; Hetrick-Martin Institute; In the Flesh Magazine; Penelope NYC; SIGNIFIED, a webseries & multi-platform documentary; Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

Photographers: Nivea Castro; Kea'nia Gulley; Sherley Olopherne

Additional Thanks:

We would like to thank the LHA Committee, and all the other volunteers who helped out in variety of ways before, during, and after the event, as well as all those who donated food and drink to the event.

Many thanks to those who donated money to the fundraising campaign for the event.

And a particular thanks to all those who participated in creating and maintaining the Archives since its founding in 1974.

Event organizers: Flavia Rando, Shawn(ta) Smith, and Alexis Clements

Copyright © 2012 by LHEF, Inc.