June Jordan

After decades out of print, Passion―one of June Jordan’s most important collections―has returned to readers. Originally entitled, passion: new poems, 1977-1980, this volume holds key works including “Poem About My Rights,” “Poem About Police Violence,” “Free Flight,” and an essay by the poet, “For the Sake of the People’s Poetry: Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us.” June Jordan was a fierce advocate for the safety and humanity of women and Black people, and for the freedom of all people―and Barack Obama made a line from this book famous: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” With love and humor, via lyrics and rants, she calls for nothing less than radical compassion. This new edition includes a foreword by Nicole Sealey.

ISBN: 9781556596353

Format: Paperback

About the Author

June Jordan was born in Harlem in 1936 and was the author of ten books of poetry, seven collections of essays, two plays, a libretto, a novel, a memoir, five children’s books, and June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. As a professor at UC Berkeley, Jordan established Poetry for the People, a program to train student teachers to teach the power of poetry from a multicultural worldview. She was a regular columnist for The Progressive and her …

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“Jordan puts love and delight in her poems, not just vengeance and justice.” —The New York Times

“Wide in scope and singular in their articulation of atrocities, Jordan’s poems shine in this thoughtfully curated volume.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Her poetic voice is in turns incisive, celebratory, rallying, conversational, in the moment and ever musical, and this compilation offers a necessary spotlight on a canonical modern writer.” —Chicago Review of Books

“This volume of verse displays the undeniable legacy June Jordan left on both our literature and culture. Collected here are blazing examples of poetry as activism, stanzas that speak truth to power and speak out against violence against women and police brutality.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“Wherever people were silenced, cruelties concealed, or lies promoted, Jordan shouted out, exposing what needed to be seen.” —Booklist

“In the name of listening and truth-telling, the poetry of June Jordan resists memory and can never be silenced.” —Academy of American Poets, Rachel Eliza Griffiths

“The Essential June Jordan provides everything you’ll need to appreciate the legendary author’s transformative activist poetry.” —Library Journal

“Jordan’s enduring poems are tragically relevant during these continuing turbulent times.” —Observer

“Her work called for us then and calls for us now, asking us to fight for each other and against what tears us apart, all while believing in the possibility of a better world.” —The Arkansas International