Patricia Spears Jones is an African American poet and playwright winner of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets and Writers. She is author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015) which was Finalist for the PSA’s William Carlos Williams Prize and the Patterson Poetry Prize and featured a Pushcart Prize winning poem. She also has 10 additional publications: poetry books, chapbooks and anthologies.
Her poems are anthologized in Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin; BAX: Best American Experimental Writing, 2016: 2017 Pushcart Prize XLI, Best of Small Presses; Truth to Power: Writers Respond to The Rhetoric of Hate and Fear; Resisting Arrest: poems to stretch the sky; Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry; Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry; broken land: Poems of Brooklyn; and Best American Poetry, 2000.
Her poetry is featured on The Poetry Foundation and Academy of American Poets web sites and in online and print journals: African Voices, The Agni Review, Bomb, Barrow Street, The Brooklyn Rail, Callaloo, Cutthroat, EOAGH, Catamaran Literary Reader, The Recluse, www.kwelijournal.org, Fifth Wednesday, The Oxford American, Taos: Journal of the Arts, The Southampton Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House, and Upstreet. Her poem “Lave” was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art for the Poetry Suite accompanying Jacob Lawrence: The Migrations Series in 2015.
Mabou Mines, the internationally acclaimed theater company, commissioned and produced ‘Mother’ and Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting both premiered in New York City with composers respectively, Carter Burwell and Lisa Gutkin. She has collaborated with diverse composers and performers including Julie Patton, Jason Kao Hwang, Carolee Schneemann, Lenora Champagne and Ras Moshe Burnett.
She edited “The Future Imagined Differently” for About Place Journal, the biannual publication of Black Earth Institute, where she is a Senior Fellow emeritus, and she also edited the blog projects: 30 Days Hath September in 2012 and 2016 which published new poems by poets during the presidential election campaigns. She edited two radically different anthologies: Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat/ published by Bomb (2009) and Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women (1978). Her prose, interviews and arts commentary are found in Essence and essence.com, www.psa.org, http://cultureid.com The Poetry Project Newsletter, The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog, The Village Voice, www.tribes.org, and Bomb, where she is a contributing editor. Her column, Cosmopolitan in Brooklyn is archived at Calabar Magazine. Interviews are featured in The Poetry Project Newsletter, Bomb, Mosaic and www.theotter.com and for WOMR.org and for AFTV (Artist Forum television series).
In 2015, she received an award from The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund in support of writing her memoirs, and she has received grants and fellowships for her poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Art, the New York Community Trust (Oscar Williams/Gene Derwood Award) and a travel/research grant from the Goethe Institute, Boston for travel in Germany.
She curated WORDS SUNDAY, a literary series in Bedford-Stuyvesant 2014-2016 and has curated programs for the Center for Book Arts and as Program Coordinator for The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church where she served as Mentor for Emerge, Surface Be, in its first year. She served as juror for New York Foundation on the Arts (NYFA); CLMP’s Firecracker Award, Barrow Street and other contests.
She has read her work and led workshops around the U.S. including University of Arizona Poetry Center, The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church; Poets House; The Poetry Center at San Francisco State; Furious Flower Poetry Center, James Madison University; University of New Hampshire; UPenn’s Kelly’s Writers House; Poets at Pace; Bowery Poetry Club; SUNY Stony Brook; Woodland Patter; University of Kansas, Lawrence; the Arkansas Literary Festival, Little Rock; Center for Women Writers, Salem College; and Split This Rock Poetry Festival. She has organized and/or served on panels at AWP Conferences and Book fairs in Denver, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Currently she is a Lecturer for Adelphi University. Her web site is www.psjones.com.