Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Judy Jordan  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry



Illinois Connection

Jordan lives in Anna, Illinois and is an Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Biographical and Professional Information

Judy Jordan earned her bachelor's degree and a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the University of Virginia in 1990 and 1995 respectively; she earned a master of fine arts degree in fiction from the University of Utah in 2000.Jordan was the assistant professor of literature and creative writing with a cross appointment in women's studies at the San Marcos campus of California State University. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.She has completed two full-length plays and is currently working on a memoir and a third book of poetry. Professor Jordan is building her own environmentally friendly house out of cob and cordwood, is the founder of SIPRAW, which rescues dogs out of the puppy mills, and practices kundalini yoga.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

60 Cent Coffee And A Quarter To Dance: A Poem
ISBN: 080712995X

Louisiana State Univ Pr. 2005

Judy Jordan returns to a time in her life when she was homeless and working as a pizza deliverer at a Greek immigrant-owned restaurant. She absorbs the life experiences and unmet dreams of her coworkers, the parking lot prostitutes, and the other homeless with whom she shares coffee refills and the warmth of the bus station terminal. Their voices, along with Jordan's, come together in a haunting chorus that bears witness to the misery of poverty in the richest country in the world.
Childhood abuse, drug use, violence, disease, and war enter into many of the stories that form this collective tale. Sometimes broken and eerie, sometimes lyrical and beautiful, and other times quirkily humorous, the poems gain an added edginess by the use of fixed forms and the re-imagining of the sonnet in the mouths of the twentieth century's wounded and alienated. Ultimately, Jordan explores the place of beauty, verse, and narrative in helping to move us into a future in which everyone's story is told.


-- '''''Carolina Ghost Woods''''' *Walt Whitman Award, Academy of American Poets, 1999 *National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry *Book of the Year Award, Utah *OAY Award, Poetry Council of North Carolina *Thomas Wolfe Literary Award