The Essential June Jordan honors the enduring legacy of a poet fiercely dedicated to building a better world. In this definitive volume, introduced by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jericho Brown, June Jordan’s generous body of poetry is distilled and curated to represent the very best of her works. Written over the span of several decades―from Some Changes in 1971 to Last Poems in 2001―Jordan’s poems are at once of their era and tragically current, with subject matter including racist police brutality, violence against women, and the opportunity for global solidarity amongst people who are marginalized or outside of the norm. In these poems of great immediacy and radical kindness, humor and embodied candor, readers will (re)discover a voice that has inspired generations of contemporary poets to write their truths. June Jordan is a powerful voice of the time-honored movement for justice, a poet for the ages.
“Featuring an afterword by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jericho Brown, 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. But Jordan also speaks on the significance of hope, mixing, as Brown puts it, “the doom and devastation made mundane through media with the hard decision to love anyway.”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“The late Jordan’s vital body of work addressed police brutality, sexism, and solidarity with marginalized voices.” —Publishers Weekly
As featured in:
O, The Oprah Magazine‘s “32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021”
Publishers Weekly, Spring 2021 Announcements: Top 10 Poetry Titles