Arkansas-born PATRICIA SPEARS JONES has lived and worked in New York City since 1974.  She is a poet, playwright, educator, cultural activist, and anthologist and has been appointed New York State Poet (2023-25). She is the recipient of 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers. She is author of  The Beloved Community and A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems and 3 full-length collections and five chapbooks.  At the Rauschenberg Residency, she published Collapsing Forrest City, Photo Giclée.  Her poems are widely anthologized among them: 250 Years of African American Poetry: Why African American Poetry Matters Today, Plume Poetry 8; 2017 Pushcart Prize XLI: Best of Small Presses; WORD: An Anthology A Gathering of the Tribes; Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poets,  and in journals such as About Place JournalPaterson Literary Review; Cutthroat Journal;; The New Yorker and The Brooklyn Rail.  She co-edited ORDINARY WOMEN: An Anthology of New York City Women Poets (1978) and edited THINK: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat (2009).  Her plays “Mother” (music by Carter Burwell) and “Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting (music by Lisa Gutkin) were commissioned and produced by Mabou Mines.

She curated programs as Program Coordinator for The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church and created WORDS Sunday series in Brooklyn.  She has taught Creative Writing at Hunter College, Barnard College, Adelphi University and Hollins University as the 2020 Louis D. Rubin Writer in Residence. She has taught summer poetry workshops for the Community of Writers, Fine Arts Work Center, Naropa, Rutgers University, Truro Center for the Arts, and Wild Seeds Workshop for Medgar Evers College.  In New York City she has lead workshops for The Poetry Project, Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Parachute Literary Arts. She is Emeritus Fellow for Black Earth Institute and organizer of the American Poets Congress.