June Millicent Jordan (1936–2002) called herself a “dissident American poet,” and she counted among her forebears powerful voices ranging from Walt Whitman to Phyllis Wheatley. She began writing verse at the age of seven; her papers at the Schlesinger Library contain stunning material about the girlhood that prefaced her remarkable career as creator and critic, educator, and activist.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the arrival of the Papers of June Jordan at the Schlesinger and the 75th anniversary of the library’s founding, this panel discussion features scholars, poets, and activists exploring the many and ongoing facets of Jordan’s work.
The panel will be followed by a public reception and an evening of poetry and performance featuring Harvard and community poets. The poetry portion of the event is organized by Alicia Hamilton ’18 and Joshua Bennett. Danielle Legros Georges, the poet laureate of Boston, will serve as host.
A panel discussion with:
- Mariame Kaba, founder and director, Project NIA
- Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University
- Solmaz Sharif, poet; lecturer, Creative Writing Program, Stanford University
- Moderated by Joshua Bennett, director, June Jordan Fellowship Program, Center for Justice at Columbia University; 2016–2019 junior fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University
Free and open to the public.