VAN JORDAN is the author of five collections of poetry: When I Waked, I Cried to Dream Again (2023), The Cineaste (2013), Quantum Lyrics (2007), and M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A (2005), all from W. W. Norton, and Rise (Tia Chucha Press, 2001.) His work is influenced by music, film, race, history, and pop culture. In his latest volume, he combines poems and lyric prose, drawing on Black characters in Shakespearean plays to mourn the deaths of Black people, particularly Black children, at the hands of police officers. The Cineaste marries his love of film with poetry in pieces that re-examine a wide range of seminal films through the perspectives of both the voyeur and the character onscreen.
Jordan’s honors include the Lannan Literary Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and United States Artists. To add to his MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson, he earned one in Film from VCFA. He served as the Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor of English Literature at The University of Michigan, and currently holds the Humanities and Sciences Chair in English at Stanford University.