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poet

June Jordan

June Jordan

Born in New York City on July 9, 1936, June Jordan attended Barnard College.

Her numerous books of poetry include Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), Kissing God Goodbye: Poems, 1991-1997 (Anchor Books, 1997), Haruko/Love Poems (1994), Naming Our Destiny: New and Selected Poems (1989), Living Room (1985), Passion (1980), and Things That I Do in the Dark (1977).

She is also the author of children's books, plays, a novel, and Poetry for the People: A Blueprint for the Revolution (1995), a guide to writing, teaching and publishing poetry. Her collections of political essays include Affirmative Acts: Political Essays (1998) and Technical Difficulties (1994). Basic Books published her memoir, Soldier: A Poet's Childhood, in 2000.

Jordan received a Rockefeller Foundation grant, the National Association of Black Journalists Award, and fellowships from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

She taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded Poetry for the People. June Jordan died of breast cancer on June 14, 2002, in Berkeley, California.


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by this poet

poem
well I wanted to braid my hair
bathe and bedeck my
self so fine
so fully aforethought for
your pleasure
see:
I wanted to travel and read
and runaround fantastic
into war and peace:
I wanted to
surf
dive
fly
climb
conquer
and be conquered
THEN
I wanted to pickup the phone
and find you asking me
if I might
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