Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Patricia Spears Jones
Forrest City native Patricia Spears Jones was announced as the 11th winner of the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded annually by Poets & Writers, a nonprofit that publishes a bimonthly magazine of the same name. Spears Jones, now a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, is the author of poetry collections “The Weather That Kills,” “Femme du Monde” and “Painkiller,” and judges Henri Cole, Kwame Dawes and Mary Szybist lauded Spears Jones’ writing for its “fever of eros, the bones of family and friends, and the breath of everyday existence,” saying, “She is an accessible poet, but never boring. Patricia Spears Jones has steadily and quietly enriched the American poetic tradition with sophisticated and moving poems. More of us should know who she is, and even more should read her.”
Spears Jones is a contributor to BOMB Magazine and a senior fellow at progressive think tank Black Earth Institute, and has been the recipient of a 2016 Pushcart Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.