June Jordan is one of America's best known poets. 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 book is the result of a unique collaborative effort among members of Jordan's Poetry for the People workshop, and provides, for the first time, a step-by-step guide for teachers and poets on how to inspire young people to become practicing poets.
Specially featured are interviews with contemporary poets--Ntozake Shange, Leroy Quintana, Cornelius Eady, Alfred Arteaga, Janice Gould, Dan Bellm, Marilyn Chin, Joy Harjo--who reflect on their poetic influences and the ways they adapted the canon to their own identities. Also valuable are bibliographies on African American, Asian American, native American, Carribean, Chicano/a, Latino/a, American, Irish and gay and lesbian poetry, and poetry for and by children.
Focusing on both Jordan's classroom and workshop methods for teaching poetry and workshop basics, the Blueprint then extends its scope to moving poetry outward into our communities, covering, among other thinghs, stepping up to the mike and sponsoring "hot shot" poets.
June Jordan's Poetry for the People is testimony to the group spirit that makes her poetry workshops such powerful events. No poet or teacher of poetry should be without this indispensable guide to making poetry a meaningful part of every school and community.
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.