Every month I curate a collection of pieces that will inspire my own poem writing throughout the next 20-30 days, and this installment of Poems in November is extra special because each one was picked from The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. I purchased this giant 300+ piece anthology from the Friends of the Library of Hawaiʻi Annual Book Sale this past summer and it’s probably one of my favorite poetry purchases I’ve ever made. I don’t own many large compilations because I tend to focus more on new chapbooks from my favorite young authors like Olivia Gatwood (still obsessed with Life of the Party), Danez Smith, Sarah Kay, and Clint Smith, but Audre Lorde is truly one of the greatest poets ever, so I wanted to make Poems in November solely about her writings. The collection includes pieces from nine of her volumes including The First Cities, Cables to Rage, From a Land Where Other People Live, New York Head Shop and Museum, Coal, Between Our Selves, The Black Unicorn, Our Dead Behind Us, and The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance 1987-1992. I haven’t gone through the whole anthology, but I chose six poems that I most identified with from the first half. Something special about Lorde’s writings is how vibrant and tangible they feel while also remaining accessible to most readers. She writes almost in a cadence that makes each piece sound beautiful when read out loud. I’m sure if she were still living, Lorde would be considered one of the best spoken word poets ever (and I would post all of her YouTube videos). I love each of the six poems for different reasons, but I think “And Don’t Think I Won’t Be Waiting” is my favorite one of the bunch due to her rich rhythm and the way I can picture myself in the scene she’s created. I’ve collected many monthly poetry assortments, but I think this version of Poems in November is my absolute favorite.