Masters Thesis

Judy Grahn: a lesbian poet’s contribution to the literary tradition

This paper examines the value and contribution of the poetry of Judy Grahn, a lesbian feminist activist whose work exemplifies the political issues of the second wave of feminism in mid-twentieth-century America. It is a historical overview of the rise of feminism and the place poetry held in that movement. It also argues for Grahn’s introduction into the university curriculum because her work is an authentic piece of authorship conceived from her own experiences on the frontlines of activism. Grahn belongs in the literary canon as a representative voice for all marginalized people. This paper is also an analysis of Grahn’s 433-line poem, “A Woman is Talking to Death,” and an illustration of how its content reflects the historical social struggle of women and minorities.