“Jones can be stunning, effortlessly finding the right tone. This is instinctive poetry, combining bluntness with reserve.”—The Village Voice
“Richard Jones... demonstrates an ability both to transform into affirmation the tragedies of personal experience and to extract from them a more universal truth.”—Library Journal
“Richard Jones is a poet of the heart.”—Poetry
Richard Jones is a poet of uncommon perceptual gifts and emotional depth. Long admired for his storytelling and candid, unadorned diction, Jones mines daily life to reveal our quietest moments and best selves.
Tonight, looking for the answer,
I must have killed an hour
flipping through philosophy and poetry books,
every few minutes opening and reading a different title.
I anxiously searched all the places I keep books—
looking in the kitchen, the boys’ rooms,
checking the laundry room and workshop,
before going outside finally to the curb
to search through books tossed
in the backseat of the car.
Snow fell straight down in windless silence.
The keys in my left hand jingled like very small bells.
I stopped and tried to remember
what I’d come into the night looking for.
Richard Jones is the author of six books of poetry and founding editor of Poetry East. Anthologized in Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems and Billy Collins’s Poetry 180, his poems have been featured on National Public Radio, BBC Radio, and The Writer’s Almanac. He lives in Chicago.