Jasper Recites A June Jordan Poem

This June Jordan poem is from Directed by Desire. The Collected Poems of June Jordan. Reprinted with the permission of the June M. Jordan Literary Estate Trust, and Copper Canyon Press. www. Junejordan.com

Every year, Everyday Citizen blogger Melissa Tuckey has been helping to organize the Split This Rock Poetry Festival. The Split This Rock Poetry Festival’s purpose is to call poets to a greater role in public life and to bring today’s challenging American poetry of witness to a larger and more diverse audience. The name “Split This Rock” is taken from the Langston Hughes’ poem “Big Buddy.

Don’t you hear this hammer ring?
I’m gonna split this rock
And split it wide!
When I split this rock,
Stand by my side.

When I first started blogging for Everyday Citizen, I didn’t know anything about activist poets (except for maybe Langston Hughes). But then I discovered poet activists like Grace Paley, Muriel Rukeyser, W.S. Merwin, Daniel Berrigan, Amiri Baraka and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Everyday Citizen has two wonderful poets, Melissa Tuckey and Diane Wahto who publish their poems on this site.

The next Split the Rock festival will be dedicated to the poetry of June Jordan. According to her website, June Jordan was an poet, activist, journalist, essayist and teacher. June Jordan was born in Harlem in 1936, the child of West Indian immigrant parents. She graduated from Barnard College, where she would earn her B.A. June Jordan was the author of twenty-five books of poetry, fiction and essays, as well as numerous children’s books. She wrote librettos for the operas, plays and musicals. Jordan was a regular columnist for The Progressive.

Jordan also was a teacher at the City College of New York, Yale University, Sarah Lawrence College, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of California, Berkeley. During her time teaching Berkeley, Jordan founded the influential poetry program Poetry For the People. Poetry for the People is a program that teaches empowerment through the artistic expression of writing and reading poetry.

As well as write, Jordan was active in the civil rights, feminist, antiwar and gay and lesbian rights movements.

Here are four youtube videos of an interview with June Jordan and recitations of June Jordan poetry.

If you enjoy this cartoon, take a look at these links for more of my political cartoons at Everyday Citizen:

Jasper Celebrates the 4th of July

Jasper Meets Howard Zinn
Jasper and the Nature Poem
The Reunion
Government and the Market Economy
Jasper Joins Two Protests
Bob the Nerd Vampire
Jasper Debates War
Jasper Finds His Way Home
Jasper Escapes the Detention Center
Jasper At A Detention Center
Jasper Meets a Poet
Jasper’s Day
Jasper Tackles Health Care
Jasper Protests the War
Jasper and the Economy
Jasper Sings a Protest Song
The Road To Health Care Reform Cartoon
A Cartoon about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
A Cartoon about My Experience in an Evangelical Church
A Cartoon about Political Debate
A Cartoon On Gay Marriage

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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