Arts Cafe, Kelly Writers House
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 Mondefrom Tia Chucha Press and The Weather That Kills from Coffee House Press and five chapbooks including Living in the Love Economy. Her fourth full collection of poetry A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems is out from White Pine Press (White Pine Press Distinguished Poets series). Her work is widely anthologized. 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 curates WORDS SUNDAY, a literary and performance series focused on Brooklyn based writers and artists. She teaches for CUNY.
photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths