HARVEST: A Lucent Fire from White Pine Press and About Place Journal now “live”

A Lucent Fire

Cover: A Lucent Fire: New and Selected


This year has been one of my most productive and I am so pleased to have my newest full-length collection: A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems covering work from 1975 to the present!  It’s been quite a trip.  I am looking forward to getting this new book into the hands of readers.  My publisher Dennis Maloney has created a wonderful promotion:

To celebrate the release of our latest volume in our Distinguished Poets Series, A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems by Patricia Spears Jones, if you order from the White Pine website we will include another White Pine title of our choosing with your order.
Rowan Ricardo Phillips says of this collection: “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–”


So check out my new book!  Read, let e know what you think.  Enjoy

On October 5, The Future Imagined Differently Imagined for About Place Journal went live at http://aboutplacejournal.org/

Poets, essayists, artists, composers are included from Myra Sklarew, Marcella Durand, Shelagh Patterson, Margo Berdeshevsky, Tony Medina, Purvi Shah, William Nixon, Ras Moshe Barnett, Jason Kao Hwang, Robbie McCauley, Beverly Naidus and the great Brasilian artist, Denise Milan.

Happy Dance Happy Dance

photo by Rachel Eliza Griffths

photo by Rachel Eliza Griffths


what can I say, summer has been summer

Tai Allen, birthday guy

Tai Allen, birthday guy

today I came home to my messy apartment filled with a sense of cheer.  all day long  “I feel free” rolled about my head–darn, I never got to see Eric Clapton live. but if I had i would have pretty much rolled about in “I feel free”. Mostly this is because I was getting my hair done by my stylist, a young woman I deeply admire.  Nadia Vassell is one of the rare Black entrepreneurs in the very now gentrified Lower East Side. Tai Allen, a fine poet and designer is working on a beer/wine festival–people make money in all kinds of ways.  Charmaine Bee, a terrific artist has her own Gullah Girl Tea on the side. Atim Oton now has four stores and is running around probably working on Store #5.   I think all of these young(er) Black people are so smart, so energetic and disciplined and they make me pleased to alive to see them make a difference.  They make me smile.  They give me hope.

Someone sent me a link to a piece I wrote in 1998.  It’s about poetry and how one could use poetry.  Lorenzo Thomas urged me to write this essay.  He is my poet/spirit being.  I miss him.  His encouragement kept me going when things went wrong.  If he had not ask for this work, it would have been written.  Enjoy.




They are not bodies

There have been numerous op-ed pieces about “the Black body”–the vulnerable, often violated “Black body”.  And while I understand this phrase and its meaning I often find myself angry with it.  It is reductive.  It removes the personalities, the narratives of the specific human beings who were vulnerable and violated.  Black lives matter.  Black lives have narratives that explode the ideal of justice and equality and respect that should be the foundation of a great Republic.  Black lives matter because if there was justice, equality and respect no one would write about “the Black body.”

The men and women who have been killed by members of law enforcement and/or their allies over the past few years have names and narratives that go beyond the sensational ways in their lives were interrupted have names, had lives that mattered to someone who loved them, cared about them, worried over them and now mourn them. #blacklivesmatter.

Sandra Bland should still be breathing and so should so many other people with names.  Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and many others. They are not “bodies” to me.  They are young and old, poor and middle class, well educated and street wise, family people, single and looking,  going to college or dropped out.  They had smiles and told stories and maybe knew how to dance or write or served as emergency babysitters. They are not bodies. They have parents, siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts, a favorite teacher or teachers they hated.  Someone saved their baby teeth.  Someone has their pictures in a Bible.  Their mothers wear White and seek solace and justice. Their mothers speak to the media, but speak to them in private. They are not bodies. They should be breathing. They should be smiling and planning a party or angry and cursing or studying geometry or checking out new games or walking around.  They have names. They have families. They have stories. They are not bodies.