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Authors: Patricia Spears Jones
“A LUCENT FIRE is a wild ride through the last few decades of American life as seen through one canny, cool, and quick-tongued customer, an urban woman who’s been awake through all the strange changes of those years, and heard their music (from Billie to Mary J., Etta James to Fatboy Slim), and seems to bend lovingly now over the texts of her life in bemusement and pleasure, and “sadness encircling my heart/ But that’s easy – it’s just the blues. And the blues is always/ Bountiful.” That’s indeed the word for this big and big-hearted book, in which a woman stands in the current of history, with just what she can make out of words to see her way through.”
“Patricia Spears Jones' A LUCENT FIRE: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS burns bright and hot, full of surprises. Her unflinching explorations of race, sex, class, love, art-making and the body politic bristle with intelligence, humor, and anger. Jones is a woman of the world and a poet force to contend with. This book proves it.”
“The title of Patricia Spears Jones’ beautiful volume of new and collected poems, A Lucent Fire, captures with poignant precision the extraordinary core that for so long now has powered her poetry. There is a wise and dangerous fire in Jones’ poetry that harkens back to James Baldwin and, further back, to the Old Testament: the past––both a highly personal past and an expansive civic past––is the kindle from which her vital and necessary fire sings, but the fire is lucent, it glows and illuminates more than it burns, it provides a light for us to see life in its rarest distillation, as an act of grace devoted in full voice to art and love and righteousness, all at once, and all in the unmistakable voice of one of America’s truly remarkable poets. Patricia Spears Jones can do no wrong in my book. I’m grateful to finally have all of her poems in one collection to read and re-read and then, because that isn’t enough, re-read again.”
—Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Arkansas born and raised; resident of New York City for more than three decades, Patricia Spears Jones was named by Essence.com as one of its “40 Poets They Love” in 2010. She is author of the poetry collections: Painkiller and Femme du Monde from Tia Chucha Press and The Weather That Kills from Coffee House Press and four chapbooks, the most recent Living in the Love Economy. Her fourth collection: A Lucent Fire is forthcoming, Fall 2015 from White Pine Press. Her work is widely anthologized.
She is the editor and contributor to the blog project: Thirty Days Hath September: Another Kind of Noise (www.blackearthinstitute.org) (2012); Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat (www.bombsite.org ) (2009) and co-editor of the long out of print, ground-breaking anthology Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women (1978). She also published W.B.#1 a mimeo magazine which included works by Lee Breuer, Robin Messing, Larry Eigner, Bill Kushner, Levi Frazier, Jr. and Ted Greenwald in 1975.
Spears Jones has been a culture maven for four decades. She was the first African American programmer as Program Coordinator at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church where two decades later she served as Mentor for Emerge, Surface, Be, a new fellowship program. She ran the esteemed New Works Program for the Massachusetts Council of Arts and Humanities (1989-1991) and was Director of Planning and Development at The New Museum of Contemporary Art (1994-96). She is also actively involved in a variety of formal and informal organizations involved with progressive politics, social justice, feminism, the environment, and multi-culturalism, best seen in her appointment as Senior Fellow for The Black Earth Institute. She teaches for CUNY.
|$17.00||204 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-69-6||2015|