A Simple Revolution is a unique memoir and a dramatic narrative of Judy Grahn's working class roots, her army career and discharge for being lesbian, her education as one of the first whites to attend Howard University, and her life as a celebrated poet in the Bay Area during the tumultuous beginnings of the lesbian movement in the late '60s.
Judy Grahn is an internationally known poet, writer, and social theorist. She grew up in a working-class home in New Mexico. Seeking options not available in her small-town community of origin, she broke away and joined the Air Force. She was given a blue discharge” (named for the blue paper on which these letters were printed) from the Air Force because she was a lesbian. This experience galvanized Grahn into public ownership of her lesbianism, into the writing of poetry, into lesbian activism, and into the project of publishing lesbian literature. She co-founded the Women's Press Collective in Oakland, California in 1969; using a barrel mimeograph machine, the WPC published the work of Grahn and other lesbians, including Pat Parker, Willyce Kim, and more. Grahn is the author of several poetry collections, including The Common Woman, A Woman is Talking to Death, and Love Belongs to Those Who Do the Feeling. Aunt Lute Books published a collection of Grahn's work, The Judy Grahn Reader, in 2009. In addition to her poetry, Grahn has written several celebrated nonfiction works exploring woman-centered spirituality, gay history and culture, and lesbian writing.