When June Jordan created the Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley in 1991, she envisioned a world where everyone read and wrote verse. Where construction workers and policemen shared sestinas and haiku’s with schoolteachers and priests, and Pablo Neruda was as well known as Britney Spears. Well maybe not Britney.
Over the years the program has produced some of the most impressive poets in the area and even after Jordan’s death in 2002, the continues to inspire. For Black History Month the latest incantation of P4P, now under the direction of spoken word/actor/professor Aya de Leon, presents this “multi-generational poetry conversation” between National Poetry Series prizewinner Tyehimba Jess, Slam Champion Chinaka Hodge and Nico Cary of Ill-Literacy.
Poetry in the Community: A multi-generational poetry con(verse)ation
La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley