June Jordan's Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This lively "blueprint" guidebook represents collaborative efforts of the Poetry for the People60 or more multicultural students under the leadership of June Jordan at the University of California, Berkeley. Describing how-tos of grassroots poetry programs and staunchly pledged to current politically correct tenets of diversity, in addition to printing student poems, this anthology reviews how to take readings and workshops into the community and cultivate "empowerment by affirming that everybody has something to offer." Chapters discuss these "cultural literacies": African American; Asian American; Caribbean; Chicana/o, Latina/o American; children's; deaf; gay and lesbian; Irish and Irish American; Native American; and women's. This celebration of "explorative" poetry as a communal, oral art form is an easy-to-use, timely reference for community college, public libraries, and writers' centers.Frank Allen, Northampton Community Coll., Tannersville, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415911689
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Pages: 240
  • Lexile: 1140L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

June Jordan is Professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Her many books include Haruko/Love Poems, Technical Difficulties, and I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky. Lauren Muller is a graduate student in the English Department at the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught with June Jordan for four years.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Personal and Political Power in Poetry 13
Poetry for The People: A Course Description
Claiming and Proclaiming Our Voices
2 Building a Community of Trust Within a Poetry Workshop 35
Guidelines For Critiquing A Poem: The Poetry Distiller
The Guidelines in Action
The Workshop Puzzle: Putting It Together
3 Reflections on Teaching
Power Tripping, Responsibility, and Authority 55
Why Teach Poetry? What's Power Got To Do With It?
Some Tips for Leading Poetry Workshops
Navigating the Highs and Lows of Teaching
4 Rescuing the Canon: Reinventing and Making It Relevant Again 69
Contemporary Poets Talk About the Canon: Adrienne Rich, Joy Harjo, Cornelius Eady, Marilyn Chin, Ntozake Shange, Dan Bellm, Alfred Arteaga Janice Gould
Creating Our Own Canon: In-Your-Face-America Bibliographies
5 Alliterative Squat Thrusts
A Syllabus and Some Exercises for Writing Poetry 103
A Sample Syllabus
Modeling Poetic Forms
Developing Cultural Literacies
6 Word of Mouth
Staging a Revolutionary Reading 135
Getting Our Voices Out There
Preparing for the Big Events
Hot Shot Poet Readings
Chillin' After or Before the Readings
7 Publicity and Media
Let Them Drink Nectar 149
Getting the Word Out
8 Reaching Inward and Outward Through Poetry 157
Writing Poetry with Children
Community Workshops, Performances, and Other Types of Outreach
9 Throwing It Down On Paper, in a Book
Publishing Our Poetry 177
Why Publish?
From a Stack of Papers to a Book: A Timeline
10 Poems from Poetry for the People, 1991-1994
A Fantabulous Collection of Poems 191
Poetry for the People In a Time of War
Poetry for the People: What Now?
The Power of the Word
Poetry in a Time of Genocide
Poetry in a Season of Love
Coda 225
Index of Coauthors and Contributors 231
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