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Sure, there were occasional games of marbles, fingers mangled between bicycle-wheel spokes, and cravings for ice cream and poundcake, but poet June Jordan’s childhood really wasn’t so ordinary. Her Jamaican father was constantly creating new chest-hair challenges for his little soldier as she grew up in Harlem and Brooklyn. Whether teaching her how to build a clothesline, catching her with a right jab, or making her study the works of Shakespeare and Paul Laurence Dunbar, he regarded her as his “right-hand man.” Her job was to be brave and fearless. Eventually, the accident-prone little girl with a bad temper and a street reputation for being “crazy” began creating poetry as a way to get pocket change. It’s paid off better than she could have imagined. The National Association of Black Journalists Award-winning author shares stories about boys, guns, and her pet raccoon from Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood at 6:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library’s Main Lobby, 901 G St. NW. Free. (202) 727-1186. (Ayesha Morris)