ISBN-10: 193858435X
ISBN-13: 9781938584350
Publisher: Alice James Books
Publish Date: 09/19/2017
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 5.90" W, 1.00" H

We’re On: A June Jordan Reader

Editor: Jan Heller Levi
Introduction by: Rachel Eliza Griffiths


Price: $24.95


“June Jordan was not the blacksmith’s daughter. June Jordan was the blacksmith. . . . She never waited around, not for anyone’s permission, to write or act or be. . . . For this book to have its birth now, in the lopsided moment when we need it most, is no chance occurrence. This great woman blacksmith is still sweetly hammering us on.” –Nikky Finney

Poet, activist, and essayist June Jordan is a prolific, significant American writer who pushed the limits of political vision and moral witness, traversing a career of over forty years. With poetry, prose, letters, and more, this reader is a key resource for understanding the scope, complexity, and novelty of this pioneering Black American writer.

From “Poem about Police Violence”

Tell me something
what you think would happen if
everytime they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop
everytime they kill a black man
then we kill a cop
you think the accident rate would lower

. . .

I lose consciousness of ugly bestial rabid
and repetitive affront as when they tell me
18 cops in order to subdue one man
18 strangled him to death in the ensuing scuffle (don’t
you idolize the diction of the powerful: subdue and
scuffle my oh my) and that the murder
that the killing of Arthur Miller on a Brooklyn
street was just a “justifiable accident” again

People been having accidents all over the globe
so long like that I reckon that the only
suitable insurance is a gun

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"Jordan begs us to trust one another and to tell the truth, to read the world more closely, to learn the wisdom of those who came before, who resisted before, and loved before. She laid a foundation, leaving a revolutionary blueprint for poetry to transform our lives beyond the white gaze and its literary imagination. . . .This book is not just a collection of figurative words; it is a tool for liberation." –Publishers Weekly, starred review by Aja Monet "This first posthumous volume to hold both [Jordan's] verse and her prose puts her back near the center of conversations where–with Audré Lorde and Adrienne Rich–she clearly belongs." –Stephanie Burt, American Poets "Read this reader, maybe beginning with Jordan's 'Poem about My Rights' or 'Poem About Police Violence.' If nothing else June Jordan will teach you how to love, no matter who you are. This book is the rainbow sign after all the flooding across America." -E. Ethelbert Miller for the New York Journal of Books "The wonder of poetry is that after the body burns off, the breath and bones, the residue of mischief, the fierceness and loyalty to truth remains. Don't you hear her beside us now, as we gaze into the dark? Doesn't holding these pages light your mind with impossible bravery?" –Cornelius Eady
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ISBN-10: 193858435X
ISBN-13: 9781938584350
Publisher: Alice James Books
Publish Date: 09/19/2017
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 5.90" W, 1.00" H
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