Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones (’91/’92/’94): Patricia Spears Jones is the author of three poetry collections Painkiller (2010) and Femme du Monde (2006) from Tia Chucha Press and The Weather That Kills (1994) from Coffee House Press and two chapbooks Mythologizing Always and Repuestas! Her fourth collection: A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems is out from White Pine Press (White Pine Press Distinguished Poets series) which features her 2016 Pushcart Prize winning poem, “Etta James at the Audubon Ballroom.”  She was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the Paterson Prize from the Passaic County Community College, which was won by her Vermont College advisor, Mark Doy. Her work is widely anthologized. In 2015 she received a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund award for her memoir in progress. Her poetry is anthologized in Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days; Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry; Bowery Women: Poems; broken land: Poems of Brooklyn; Poetry After 911; Blood & Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard; Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology; Sisterfire; and Best American Poetry, 2000. She has written plays with music commissioned and produced by Mabou Mines: ‘Mother’ in 1994 and Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting in 2007. She edited and contributed to Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat and co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Ordinary Women: Poetry by New York City Women (1978). Her poems, interviews, reviews and commentary can be found in Bomb; Tuesday; An Art Project,, downtown Brooklyn, Fifth Wednesday, Barrow Street, The Oxford American, The Poetry Project Newsletter, African Voices, PMS#8; Black Renaissance Noire, Court Green, Callaloo, nocturne, Agni, Black Issues Book Review, Essence, The Brooklyn Rail, The Southampton Review; TriQuarterly, Ploughshares and She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She has taught at Poets House, St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Cave Canem’s New York City Workshop, Parsons School of Design, Sarah Lawrence College, and summer courses at Naropa University, Pine Manor College, University of Rhode Island, and Manhattanville College. She is the recipient of The Jackson Poetry Prize, one the most prestigious awards for American Poets via Poets & Writers, Inc.  The $50,000 prize is among the most substantial given to an American poet. She was a Poetry staff member at the Community of Writers in 2016. Her website is