Falling in Love with Audre Lorde

Chinese version of Audre Lorde’s poem Never to Dream of Spiders, calligraphy by Alvis Choi, Whippersnapper Gallery, March 2013.

Documentation: Photos on Flickr

Falling in Love with Audre Lorde
A performative walking tour led by Alvis Parsley
21st March 2013
Starts at 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm (happening regardless of weather, as snow or rain or hail doesn’t stop love!)

In this walking tour Falling in Love with Audre Lorde, Alvis Parsley extends the poetry marathon at Whippersnapper Gallery to the neighborhood of Chinatown, Kensington Market and Alexandra Park. Interweaving Audre Lorde’s poetry of love and empowerment with personal narratives as a temporary resident, genderqueer person of color and dreamer, Alvis Parsley invites you to join their unknown journey of connecting with the indomitable spirit of Audre Lorde, engaging passers-by in collaborative reading and improv actions in an everyday setting.

This is part of a closing event, organized by the backforward collective, of the Contemporary Urgencies of Audre Lorde’s Legacy.


Alvis Parsley’s tour drew participants into a mysteriously intimate encounter with person and place. Each stop had its own unique atmosphere. Stop one: Queer poetic noir. Stop Two: Embodied analysis of the geopolitics of labour and merchandise. Stop Three: Pragmatic bodily navigations of space. Woven throughout was an intimate narrative of love’s hits and misses. As we meandered from place to place we trailed a soundscape of fragmented poetic traces of Audre Lorde for passers-by and accidental participants.” — Helen Vosters, Performance Artist, PhD Candidate, Theatre Studies, York University

“Alvis weaves in poetic autobiography elements into a guided tour of banal public spaces while creating this individual and choral incantation of three potent Audre Lorde poems about cultural, sexual and political identity.” — Coman Poon, Theatre and Performance Artist

“`And I knew when I entered her/ I was high wind in her forests hollow/…..´. In bitterly cold Toronto, snow flakes spotting our differently textured hairs, on empty stomachs, we walked through Chinatown, chanting Audre Lorde´s Love Poem. Our tour guide Alvis read their moving poetry from her blue-clad cell phone, punctuating the humming sounds of shoppers and traffic, with their songs of yearning and farewell. A Mandarin speaker in the shopping mall awoke from his slumber, piqued by their trans/ sex/ lesbian utterances. All our personal woes were forgotten, here a transnational community built on the erotic was in motion. How she would have nodded affirmatively´.” — Gloria Wekker, Professor, Utrecht University, The Netherlands