A Signature of Leaves

A Signature of Leaves

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A Signature of Leaves

Jane Jordan

6 X 9 inches, 144 pages

Penumbra Press Poetry Series, No. 56

A Signature of Leaves is a collection of poems spanning more than 30 years, published and unpublished, that highlight a love of the northland and people. They speak of the struggle and challenge of entertaining risk, which is woven into the identity and evolution of the writer. Now in her seventy-eighth year, Jane Jordan has always been a strong supporter and participant in Canadian literature since the 1940s. Her passionate search for freedom never diminishes.


my Indian resemblance pricks people's consciousness
my Black empathy fights for rights
my Jewish heart is appalled by atrocities


Notes for the Dreamspeaker

I do not serve you platitudes
I need to speak & live
function & rebel
in my own language

I want to drop a line
watch the current flow
before I reel concepts
document my particular vision

bafflegab will never substitute

I take my stubborn route
with clarity
a hardhat just in case
a cliff should fall on me

I watch the sky lengthening its mystic & surreal
dreamspeaker nets

focus ten years ahead


Jane Jordan, now in her seventy-eighth year, writes with a delicate and passionate clarity. Her heart and vision delight in the elemental beauties of the Canadian landscape, and in all the troubling yet vital shared passions of both our private and our political lives.

—Marianne Bluger


Jane Jordan


Sara Jane Jordan was born in Toronto in August 6, 1926. Jane Belfry Appleton, sixth generation Canadian, mixed heritage: English; French; American; Canadian; Scottish; Irish; wrote first poem at age 7. Started writing poetry seriously at age 40, using her married name Jane White up until 1972. Established a series of programs named Folk & Poetry in a number of locations in Toronto & North York, promoting other poets & artists from right across Canada. Co-established The House on Gerrard Street with Ted Plantos. Moved to Ottawa 1971. Changed name to Jane Jordan in 1973. Established a number of programs under the umbrella Folk & Poetry / The Underground Up until 1982. In 1988, TREE established the Jane Jordan Award to honour a living Canadian poet. There are only two living Canadian poets who have had awards named after them—Irving Layton & Jane Jordan. Two chapbooks were published in 1974 & 1976. Poems have been published in a number of periodicals & anthologies, & broadcast on CKCU-FM, CHEZ-FM, Q101-FM & the CBC. Jordan has been a strong supporter of Canadian literature over the years.

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