Judy Jordan

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Judy Jordan (born 1961) is an American poet.


She grew up on a small farm near the Carolina border. Her parents were sharecroppers, and she was picking cotton by the time she was 5. She was the first member of her family to attend college, with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in 1990, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1995. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree, in fiction from the University of Utah, in 2000. She lived in Salt Lake City.

She taught at the University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, and California State University, San Marcos.[1] She teaches at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.[2][3][4]

She lives off-the-grid in a cabin that she built herself in the Shawnee National Forest, and is working on a non-fiction book about her experiences there.

Her poems have appeared in Raintaxi,[5] Blue Pitcher Review, Crossroads: A Journal of Southern Culture, Lucid Oona, Poetry,[6] Western Humanities Review, and Writer’s Eye.



Poetry Books[edit]


  • Gerald Costanzo, Jim Daniels, ed. (2000). American poetry: the next generation. Carnegie Mellon University Press. ISBN 978-0-88748-343-1. 
  • Patrice Vecchione, ed. (2007). Faith and Doubt: An Anthology of Poems. Patrice Vecchione. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-8050-8213-5. 


Judy Jordan's book, Carolina Ghost Woods, is a startling first collection of poems--startling because of the bone-crushing violence and poverty, and startling also because of the beautiful and precise language the poet brings to bear on these scenes, violent or not. She is a poet first and foremost.[8]

Judy Jordan has written a stunning collection in Carolina Ghost Woods, winner of the 1999 Walt Whitman Prize. Graced with an engagement of the senses that is so precise it seems otherworldly, Jordan renders the landscape of her childhood with a stylistic and thematic unity that is rare for a first book of poems.[9]

60 Cent Coffee, Jordan’s second volume of poetry, is a book length poem that chronicles a time in her life when she was homeless, working as a pizza deliveryman at a Greek immigrant-owned restaurant. It marks a radical departure from the rural landscapes of Carolina Ghost Woods, Its daring narrative skillfully weaves together the lives and histories of Jordan, and the experiences of her coworkers, the street walkers and the homeless with whom she shares a common plight. The chorus of voices blends into a haunting melody that records the hopes, dreams and quiet alienation of those living in the underbelly of society.[10]


External links[edit]