Poetry & Politics
June Jordan knows well the burdens placed upon the children of immigrants. It’s part of what gave her the courage and conviction to observe the world with the unblinking eye of a reporter and relay what she experiences with the heart of a poet. Her highly political work is a deeply personal call for tolerance and justice. From her beginnings as the only daughter of West Indian immigrants to her current position as an educator and prominent writer, Jordan’s journey is rich and varied and is reflected in her powerful and playful poetry and prose.
June Jordan, an award-winning poet, essayist and critic, was born in Harlem to parents who were immigrants from the West Indies. She was professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where she was the founder and Director of the Poetry for the People program. Described as “the most published African American in history,” she wrote numerous books including Technical Difficulties, Naming Our Destiny, Affirmative Acts, Poetry for the People, Haruko/Love Poems, and Soldier, a memoir of her childhood. She died in 2002.