- about June
- new in print
- by June
- permissions / links
a June Jordan portfolio
- from Who Look at Me
- If You Saw a Negro Lady
- What Would I Do White
- These Poems
- One Minus One Minus One
- I Must Become a Menace to My Enemies
- Poem for South African Women
- Alla Tha's All Right, but
- Poem about My Rights
- Poem for Nana
- First Poem After Serious Surgery
- The Bombing of Baghdad
- Poem to Take Back the Night
- It's Hard to Keep a Clean Shirt Clean
June Jordan was born in Harlem in 1936 and grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Poet, activist, teacher, and essayist, she was a prolific, passionate and influential voice for liberation. June Jordan, who died in 2002, lived and wrote on the frontlines of American poetry, political vision and moral witness.
UCSF Doctor and co-founder of the Global Health organization HEAL Initiative gave a moving Tedx talk in February 2016 that tied together June Jordan, poetry, Global Health, suffering and narrative entitled Whose Suffering Matters Less, and Why?
Sri was part of June Jordan's Poetry for the People in 1998-2001. June wrote a poem dedicated to him and P4P, Its Hard to Keep a Clean Shirt Clean.
Life as Activism, published in February 2014 by Litwin Books and edited by Stacy Russo, is the first complete collection of the columns June wrote for the Progressive Magazine (from 1989 to 2001). This beautiful new book comes with a foreword by Angela Davis and a preface by Matthew Rothschild.
From Angela Davis's Foreword:
“What is remarkable about these articles is their resonance on our contemporary political landscape.”
“Published during the last decade of the twentieth century, these columns remind me just how much June Jordan’s formidable voice is missed today. She was a poet, but also equally a journalist, and no ordinary journalist, for her illuminating accounts of ongoing events were always infused with her unique poetic vision.”
From Matthew Rothschild's Introduction:
“I miss June Jordan. And after you read these breathtaking essays and poems, you’ll miss her, too, and you’ll want her back, as I do. No one wrote like June Jordan, packing her lines with beauty and love and righteous anger. No one fought harder with her words than June Jordan.”
“I know of no writer who was more fully engaged in the historic moments and burning issues of her day.”
The second volume of the Wiley Blackwell anthology of African American Literature, 1920 to the Present, published in January 2014, includes twelve of Junes poems, among them "If You Saw a Negro Lady," "What Would I Do White" and "In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr." as well as her essay “The Difficult Miracle of Black Poetry in America: Something Like a Sonnet for Phillis Wheatley.”
June Jordan's 1997 book of poetry, Kissing God Goodbye, has just been published in Germany by Weidle Verlag, translated, Poetry-for-the-People-style, by the students of Technische Universität Dortmund and Professors Julia Sattler and Walter Grünzweig, in a beautiful bilingual edition, German and English, with an elegant cover by Max Cole.
Technical Difficulties, June Jordan's 1992 collection of essays, has just come out in Spanish, with an introduction by Angela Davis, especially written for this foreign-language edition. The beautiful book is published by LaOficina / BAAM, Madrid.
The Progressive's new - and first - eBook, Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall, from its Hidden History Series, edited by Matthew Rothschild. The volume includes three of June Jordan's columns written for the magazine (and anthologized since many, many times): "A New Politics of Sexuality" (July 1991); "Requiem for a Champ" (April 1992); and "The Invisible People: Black Rage and the Stolen Election" (March 2001).
A sampler of June Jordan's poems has been translated into Bengali in the small and very nice literary magazine Birutjatio. Check it out here.
Watch this film put created by the documentary film students of the University of Georgia, based on June Jordan's poem "Take Back the Night."
If you're in London on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, check out the screening of Pratibha Pramar's A Place for Rage.
Under the motto Poetry by and for the 99%! Poems of Provocation & Witness Split This Rock Poetry Festival celebrates the life and work of June Jordan on the 10th anniversary of her death: Join them in March! Be active! Poetry Occupies!
March 22-25, 2012, Washington, DC
Check out Rita Dove's The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry with June's "Poem About My Rights" as well as many other great poems.
Or go get it from the St. Mark's Bookstore shelves.