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Even Tonight: Reading June Jordan

June 2, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/

— June Jordan, from “Poem about My Rights”

Join us for a night celebrating June Jordan’s poetry and the release of a new letterpress broadside of “Poem about My Rights.” Poets Jamaica Baldwin, Jalayna Carter, and Natasha Marin will read work by Jordan that holds particular impact for them, and the event will culminate in a joint reading of “Poem about My Rights.” Proceeds from sale of the broadside, created at Expedition Press by teen activist Sabina Smith, will benefit Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood.


June Jordan was born in Harlem in 1936 and was the author of ten books of poetry, seven collections of essays, two plays, one libretto, a novel, a memoir, five children’s books and “June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint.” As a professor at UC Berkeley, Jordan established Poetry for the People, a program to train student teachers how to teach the power of poetry from a multicultural worldview. She was a regular columnist for The Progressive and her articles appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, Ms., Essence, and The Nation. After her death from breast cancer in 2002, a school in the San Francisco School District was renamed in her honor.


Jamaica Baldwin’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Rattle, Spiral Orb, Jack Straw Anthology, Third Coast Review, Hayden’s Ferry, Prairie Schooner and the Seattle Review of Books where she was the March 2017 poet in residence. Jamaica has received nominations for Pushcart and Sundress Best of Net and is the recipient of a Hedgebrook residency. She received her MFA from Pacific University Oregon and was a 2017 Jack Straw Writer’s Fellow. She lives in Seattle, WA where she teaches and is currently working on her first book.

Seattle transplant Jalayna Carter is an emerging storyteller from St. Louis, MO. Her work is born of the tradition set by the Black Arts Movement through the lens of Poetry of Witness, which seems to fit the times. It is just as much the result of a love of science-fiction and the re-imagining of personal history. She studied literature and journalism in the Midwest and from there developed an interest in interdisciplinary media. A 2018 Jack Straw Writer’s Program fellow, she explores Immersive Poetry focusing on sensory stimulation through technology. She’s had pieces published by Third Point Press, Reality Beach, Puerto Del Sol and 2Leaf Press in the Anthology, “Black Lives Have Always Mattered.”

Natasha Marin is a conceptual artist primarily engaged in the work of digital engagement and community building. Natasha’s methodology pivots around co-creation and she uses platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to find, connect, and build alliances among individuals and communities. Her work (often done in collaboration with non-artist-identified folks) supports building a creative legacy with sustainable communities through different levels of engagement, modes of connection, and methods of encounter. She is a recovering poet, author of Milk, creator of Reparations, #WomanCentered, Red Lineage, & Black Imagination.


Expedition Press is a publisher and print shop in Kingston WA, run by artist Myrna Keliher. Focused on poetry and type, Expedition works to amplify damn fine words with exacting typography. Sabina Smith is a sophomore at Kingston High School and has spent the past year making a 4ft long letterpress broadside of June Jordan’s “Poem about My Rights.” Her vision is to sell it to benefit national nonprofits whose work she believes in, and to make a digitally printed version available indefinitely for “all who need its strength.”


June 2, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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