Berkeley Talks


A Poetry for the People conversation

Ep. 137

The Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley’s 2021-22 Critical Conversations speaker series is a celebration of the life and legacy of June Jordan, an award-winning poet, activist and longtime professor in the department.

At Berkeley, Jordan founded the Poetry for the People program, where writers of all levels wrote and showcased their own poems, and taught poetry to other university students, high school students and community members.

In this episode of Berkeley Talks, two Berkeley alumni and former students of Poetry for the People — Samiya Bashir, an associate professor of creative writing at Reed College, and Solmaz Sharif, an assistant professor of English at Arizona State University — read their work, share some of their favorite poems by Jordan, and discuss the Poetry for the People program and the impact it continues to have on their lives.

The Feb. 28 conversation was moderated by Chiyuma Elliot, a poet and associate professor in the Department of African American Studies at Berkeley.

Listen to the episode and read a transcript on Berkeley News.

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