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Bloomfield College Faculty Member Wins Jackson Poetry Prize

Patricia Spears Jones

By Alicia Cook

According to Poets & Writers, Patricia Spears Jones, a Bloomfield College faculty member, is this year’s recipient of the Jackson Poetry Prize.

Poets & Writers is a nonprofit literary organization founded in 1970. Previous winners of the Jackson prize include such acclaimed poets as Elizabeth Alexander and Claudia Rankine.

The Brooklyn-based poet has won a $50,000 prize given for “exceptional talent” that merits greater recognition. Judges praised Spears Jones, whose previous honors include a Pushcart Prize, for her “sophisticated and moving” work.

Spears Jones comes to Bloomfield College with a four-decade history of major cultural impact. Named by essence.com as one of its “40 Poets They Love” in 2010, she is the author of the poetry collection “Painkiller and Femme du Monde” and “The Weather That Kills,” as well as five chapbooks including “Living in the Love Economy.” Her fourth collection, “A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems” features her 2016 Pushcart Prize winning poem, “Etta James at the Audubon Ballroom.” Her works are included in numerous anthologies, and in 2015, she received a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award for her memoir in progress.

Spears Jones is the editor of “The Future Differently Imagined,” an issue of “About Place Journal,” the online publication of “Black Earth Institute,” and was editor and contributor to the blog project “Thirty Days Hath September: Another Kind of Noise.” She was the co-editor of the 1978 groundbreaking anthology “Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women.”

Jones will be teaching courses for the Creative Arts & Technology Division’s MFA program, which officially launches this summer.