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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pat Parker GCLS 2021 Trailblazer Award recipient
--From a press release
2021-04-30

This article shared 505 times since Fri Apr 30, 2021
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Pat Parker, a poet, activist, and artist will receive the Golden Crown Literary Society's 2021 Trailblazer Award. Parker shaped the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights movements of the late '60s and '70s in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was instrumental in founding the Berkeley Gay Women's Liberation Group, Black Women's Revolutionary Council, and the Women's Press Collective.

As a key part of the West Coast poetry community that formed through women's groups and included poets such as Judy Grahn, the 2014 GCLS Trailblazer Award winner, Parker grounded her work in oral and spoken word traditions, autobiography, and radical politics. Her poems contain sharp, sometimes biting social commentary, but she also explored queer experience and female love with tenderness and hope. She was known for her unflinching honesty in addressing issues of sex, race, motherhood, alcoholism, and domestic violence.

Parker was the author of five poetry collections: Jonestown and other Madness (Firebrand Books, 1985), Movement in Black (Diana Press, 1978), Woman Slaughter (Diana Press, 1978), Pit Stop (Women's Press Collective, 1975), and Child of Myself (Women's Press Collective, 1972). Parker's longtime friend Audre Lorde called Parker's poetry, "clean and sharp without ever being neat."

After Pat Parker's devastatingly premature death, her lifelong friend Judy Grahn described the way Parker lived life and overcame challenges, as "go[ing] to the front of the line with a big bad sword in hand and lead[ing] a revolution."

Pat Parker and all other Goldie Award winners will be honored at our virtual Seventeenth Annual Awards Ceremony on July 31, 2021, the culmination of our Annual Conference. The Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer organization whose mission is to increase the visibility and integrity of literature about women loving women.

Please visit our website (http://www.goldencrown.org) for more information about the organization.


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