<em> The Essential June Jordan</em> 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 <em> Some Changes</em> in 1971 to <em> Last Poems</em> 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.
“With the publication of her collected poems, one can survey the sheer scope of a woman who merged personal and political levels of expression with unyielding conviction.”— <em>San Francisco Chronicle</em><br><br>“Jordan brings to life people, places, things, and books that nourished her mind and character.”— <em>Los Angeles Times</em><br><br>“Though best known as a poet, she wore many other hats. All of her identities were rooted in a passion for social justice—accompanied by the belief that the powerless could eventually prevail… In the words of this volume’s title, her activities were ‘directed by desire’—in defense of truth and justice.” —<em>The Washington Post</em><br><br>“Skeptical, angry, and sick of unexamined beliefs and hypocrisy, Jordan writes warrior poems: muscled, coiled, and unerringly accurate.”— <em>Booklist</em><br><br>“[Jordan’s poems are] so immediate and vibrant in their effect that they seem to be happening right there on the page.”— <em>Kenyon Review</em><br><br>“The energy and seriousness of these poems are impressive and, like the essays, they are the work of a writer of integrity and will.”— <em>The New York Times</em><br><br>“She has comforted, explained, described, wrestled with, taught and made us laugh out loud before we wept... I am talking about a span of forty years of tireless activism coupled with and fueled by flawless art.”—Toni Morrison