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This report is taken from PN Review 147, Volume 29 Number 1, September - October 2002.

June Jordan 1936-2002 Marilyn Hacker

In the poetry of the New World, you meet with a reverence for the material world that begins with reverence for human life, an intellectual trust in sensuality as a means of knowledge and of unity, an easily deciphered system of reference, aspiration to a believable, collective voice and, consequently, emphatic preference for broadly accessible language and/or 'spoken' use of language, a structure of forward energies that interconnects apparently discrete or even conflictual elements, saturation by quotidian data, and a deliberate balancing of perception with vision: a balancing of sensory report with moral exhortation.
June Jordan:
'For the Sake of a People's Poetry: Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us'


June Jordan, poet, essayist, activist, teacher, who had lived with breast cancer for ten years, died of the disease's metastasis in Berkeley California on 13 June, at dawn. She would have been sixty-six on 9 July. She was the author of some twenty books of poems, including Things That I Do in the Dark, Passion, Living Room, Haruko: Love Poems and Kissing God Goodbye, of a memoir, Soldier: A Poet's Childhood, published in 1999, and of numerous books of essays, including On Call, Technical Difficulties, and the forthcoming Some of Us Did Not Die. A selection of her poems, entitled Lyrical Campaigns, and an essay collection, Moving Towards Home were published in the UK by Virago in 1989. She was a columnist for the American left-wing monthly The Progressive and, for over ...


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