“Directed by Desire . . . is a powerful addition to the entire canon of American poetry.”—Booklist Now in paperback, Directed by Desire is the definitive overview of June Jordan’s -poetry. Collecting the finest work from Jordan’s ten volumes, as well as dozens of “last poems” that were never published in Jordan’s lifetime, these more than six hundred pages overflow with intimate lyricism, elegance, fury, meditative solos, and dazzling vernacular riffs. As Adrienne Rich writes in her introduction, June Jordan “wanted her readers, listeners, students, to feel their own latent power—of the word, the deed, of their own beauty and intrinsic value.” From “These Poems”: These poems they are things that I do in the dark reaching for you whoever you are and are you ready? The cloth edition of Directed by Desire was selected as a Library Journal Poetry Book of the Year and received the Lambda Book Award for Lesbian Poetry. June Jordan taught at UC Berkeley for many years and founded Poetry for the People. Her twenty-eight books include poetry, essays, fiction, and children’s books. She was a regular columnist for The Progressive and a prolific writer whose articles appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, and The Nation. After her death in 2002, a school in the San Francisco School District was renamed in her honor.
"Directed by Desire . . . is a powerful addition to the entire canon of American poetry."--Booklist Now in paperback, Directed by Desire is the definitive overview of June Jordan's -poetry. Collecting the finest work from Jordan's ten volumes, as well as dozens of "last poems" that were never published in Jordan's lifetime, these more than six hundred pages overflow with intimate lyricism, elegance, fury, meditative solos, and dazzling vernacular riffs. As Adrienne Rich writes in her introduction, June Jordan "wanted her readers, listeners, students, to feel their own latent power--of the word, the deed, of their own beauty and intrinsic value." From "These Poems": These poems they are things that I do in the dark reaching for you whoever you are and are you ready? The cloth edition of Directed by Desire was selected as a Library Journal Poetry Book of the Year and received the Lambda Book Award for Lesbian Poetry. June Jordan taught at UC Berkeley for many years and founded Poetry for the People. Her twenty-eight books include poetry, essays, fiction, and children's books. She was a regular columnist for The Progressive and a prolific writer whose articles appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, and The Nation. After her death in 2002, a school in the San Francisco School District was renamed in her honor.
"She remains a thinker and activist who 'insists upon complexity.' "Reamy Jansen, San Francisco Chronicle*Some of Us Did Not Die brings together a rich sampling of the late poet June Jordan's prose writings. The essays in this collection, which include her last writings and span the length of her extraordinary career, reveal Jordan as an incisive analyst of the personal and public costs of remaining committed to the ideal and practice of democracy. Willing to venture into the most painful contradictions of American culture and politics, Jordan comes back with lyrical honesty, wit, and wide-ranging intelligence in these accounts of her reckoning with life as a teacher, poet, activist, and citizen.
For Haruko Little moves on sight blinded by histories as trivial or expansive as the rain seducing light into a blurred excitement Then she opens all of one eye as accurate as longing as two hands beholden to the hunger of green leaves and rinsing them back into regular breath she who sees she frees each of these beggarly events cleansing them of dust and other death Poem about Process And Progress For Haruko Hey Baby you betta hurry it up! Because since you went totally off I seen a full moon I seen a half moon I seen a quarter moon I seen no moon whatsoever! I seen a equinox I seen a solstice I seen Mars and Venus on a line I seen a mess a fickle stars and lately I seen this new kind a luva on an' off the telephone who like to talk to me all the time real nice Resolution # 1,003 I will love who loves me I will love as much as I am loved I will hate who hates me I will feel nothing for everyone oblivious to me I will stay indifferent to indifference I will live hostile to hostility I will make myself a passionate and eager lover In response to passionate and eager love I will be nobody's fool Foreword WHAT IS THIS thing called love, in the poems of June Jordan, artist, teacher, social critic, visionary of human solidarity? First of all, it's a motive; the power Che Guevara was trying to invoke in his much-quoted assertion: "At the risk of appearing ridiculous . . . the true revolutionary is moved by great feelings of love." I think also of Paul Nizan: "You think you are innocent if you say, 'I love this woman and I want to act in accordance with my love,' but you are beginning the revolution. . . . You will be driven back: to claim the right to a human act is to attack the forces responsible for all the misery in the world." Neither of them, admittedly, was claiming the love of a woman for women, the love of a man for men, as revolutionary, as a human act. But the motive is "directed by desire" in Jordan
Author: Lauren Muller,June Jordan,Poetry for the People (Organization)
Publisher: Burns & Oates
Her vision and politics have set her at the forefront of contemporary poetry and her work has a far-reaching impact on all poets and readers of poetry today. A dedicated and inspired teacher, her innovative and highly successful poetry program, Poetry for the People, has recently emerged as a national phenomenon.
“This June Jordan treasure is a rare piece of fiction from one of America's most vital poets and political essayists—a tender story of young love in the face of generational opposition, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet that sings and sways.” —Walter Mosley Nominated for a National Book Award in 1971, His Own Where is the story of Buddy, a fifteen-year-old boy whose world is spinning out of control. He meets Angela, whose angry parents accuse her of being "wild." When life falls apart for Buddy and his father, and when Angela is attacked at home, they take action to create their own way of staying alive in Brooklyn. In the process, the two find refuge in one another and learn that love is real and necessary. His Own Where was one of The New York Times' Most Outstanding Books and was on the American Library Association's list of Best Books in 1971. June Jordan was a poet, essayist, journalist, dramatist, activist, and educator known for challenging oppression through her inspirational words and actions. She was the founder of Poetry for the People at the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught for many years. The author of over twenty books, her poetry is collected in Directed by Desire; her selected essays in Some of Us Did Not Die. Sapphire is the author of American Dreams, Black Wings & Blind Angels, and Push, which was made into the 2009 award-winning motion picture Precious.
Jude Morgan brings the world of Keats, Byron and Shelley to life in a stunning novel of supercharged emotion, individualism, violence and sensuality. They were the Romantic generation, famous and infamous, and in their short, extraordinary lives, they left a legacy of glamorous and often shocking legend. In PASSION the interwoven lives and vivid personalities of Byron, Shelley and Keats are explored through the eyes of the women who knew and loved them - scandalously, intensely and sometimes tragically. From the salons of the Whig nobles and the penury and vitality of Grub Street, to the beauty and corruption of Venice and the carrion field of Waterloo, PASSION presents the Romantic generation in a new and dramatic light - actors in a stormy history that unleashed the energies of the modern world.
Pulitzer Prize winner Sylvia Plath’s complete poetic works, edited and introduced by Ted Hughes. By the time of her death on 11, February 1963, Sylvia Plath had written a large bulk of poetry. To my knowledge, she never scrapped any of her poetic efforts. With one or two exceptions, she brought every piece she worked on to some final form acceptable to her, rejecting at most the odd verse, or a false head or a false tail. Her attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn’t get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy. The end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity. So this book contains not merely what verse she saved, but—after 1956—all she wrote.—Ted Hughes, from the Introduction
A professor of African-American studies, feminist, and award-winning poet presents a collection of lyrical, musical poems on such subjects as the stereotyping of women, her relationship with her mother, and the victimization of blacks in Los Angeles. Original.
“Mine is a personal story of an unexpected and terribly inconvenient Christian conversion, told by a very unlikely convert.” –Sara Miles Raised as an atheist, Sara Miles lived an enthusiastically secular life as a restaurant cook and a writer. Then early one winter morning, for no earthly reason, she wandered into a church. “I was certainly not interested in becoming a Christian,” she writes, “or, as I thought of it rather less politely, a religious nut.” But she ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine, and found herself radically transformed. The mysterious sacrament of communion has sustained Miles ever since, in a faith she’d scorned, in work she’d never imagined. In this astonishing story, she tells how the seeds of her conversion were sown, and what her life has been like since she took that bread. A lesbian left-wing journalist who covered revolutions around the world, Miles was not the woman her friends expected to see suddenly praising Jesus. She was certainly not the kind of person the government had in mind to run a “faith-based charity.” Religion for her was not about angels or good behavior or piety; it was about real hunger, real food, and real bodies. Before long, she turned the bread she ate at communion into tons of groceries, piled on the church’s altar to be given away. The first food pantry she established provided hundreds of poor, elderly, sick, deranged, and marginalized people with lifesaving food and a sense of belonging. Within a few years, the loaves had multiplied, and she and the people she served had started nearly a dozen more pantries. Take This Bread is rich with real-life Dickensian characters–church ladies, child abusers, millionaires, schizophrenics, bishops, and thieves–all blown into Miles’s life by the relentless force of her newfound calling. She recounts stories about trudging through the rain in housing projects, wiping the runny nose of a psychotic man, storing a battered woman’s .375 Magnum in a cookie tin. She writes about the economy of hunger and the ugly politics of food; the meaning of prayer and the physicality of faith. Here, in this achingly beautiful, passionate book, is the living communion of Christ. “The most amazing book.” – Anne Lamott From the Hardcover edition.
This new volume by the much-loved poet Sonia Sanchez, her first in over a decade, is music to the ears: a collection of haiku that celebrates the gifts of life and mourns the deaths of revered African American figures in the worlds of music, literature, art, and activism. In her verses, we hear the sounds of Max Roach "exploding in the universe," the "blue hallelujahs" of the Philadelphia Murals, and the voice of Odetta "thundering out of the earth." Sanchez sings the praises of contemporaries whose poetic alchemy turns "words into gems": Maya Angelou, Richard Long, and Toni Morrison. And she pays homage to peace workers and civil rights activists from Rosa Parks and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to Brother Damu, founder of the National Black Environmental Justice Network. Often arranged in strings of twelve or more, the haiku flow one into the other in a steady song of commemoration. Sometimes deceptively simple, her lyrics hold a very powerful load of emotion and meaning. There are intimate verses here for family and friends, verses of profound loss and silence, of courage and resilience. Sanchez is innovative, composing haiku in new forms, including a section of moving two-line poems that reflect on the long wake of 9/11. In a brief and personal opening essay, the poet explains her deep appreciation for haiku as an art form. With its touching portraits and by turns uplifting and heartbreaking lyrics, Morning Haiku contains some of Sanchez's freshest, most poignant work.