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Poet Patricia Spears Jones wins $50,000 prize

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/18/2017

NEW YORK (AP) — A Brooklyn-based poet has won a $50,000 prize given for "exceptional talent" that merits greater recognition.

Patricia Spears Jones is this year's recipient of the Jackson Poetry Prize, Poets & Writers told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Judges praised Jones, whose previous honors include a Pushcart Prize, for her "sophisticated and moving" work.

"Patricia Spears Jones' poems are made of fever, bones, and breath. The fever of eros, the bones of family and friends, and the breath of everyday existence. She is an accessible poet, but never boring," the citation reads. "More of us should know who she is, and even more should read her."

Among her books are "Painkiller," ''Femme du Monde" and, most recently, "A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems." Jones is also a playwright, contributor to BOMB magazine and a writing teacher who has led workshops at Cave Canem and Poets House and is on the faculty of Bloomfield College.

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.

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