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Patricia Spears Jones

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Patricia Spears Jones
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Born in 1951 in Forrest City, Arkansas, Patricia Spears Jones earned her BA at Rhodes College in 1973 and her MFA from Vermont College.

Spears Jones is the author of four collections of poetry: A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015), Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2010), Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006), and The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995).

She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Goethe Institute, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

A resident of New York City since the 1970s, Spears Jones currently serves as a fellow of the Black Earth Institute and has long been involved with the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church. She has taught at Cave Canem, Parsons School of Design, The New School, Sarah Lawrence College, and Naropa University, and she currently teaches at the City University of New York.


Selected Bibliography

A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015)
Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2010)
Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006)
The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995)

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Patricia Spears Jones, P.O.P

Patricia Spears Jones, P.O.P

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by this poet

poem
We have encountered storms 
Perfect in their drench and wreck
 
Each of us bears an ornament of grief
A ring, a notebook, a ticket torn, scar
It is how humans know their kind—
 
What is known as love, what can become  
the heart’
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poem

The man with the black feather tattoo pares this space
Between fantasy and the memory of a man’s carved
Torso, designed for stroking and celebration.

Today the sun’s brightness is like that lover’s kiss,
Wonderful in the present and greater in memory.

A memory that brings me back to that

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poem

And I am full of worry I wrote to a friend
Worry, she replied about what—love, money, health?

All of them, I wrote back. It’s autumn, the air is clear
and you hear death music—the rattle of leaves swirling

the midnight cat howling, a newborn baby’s 3 am
call for food or help or heart’s