Patricia Spears Jones – “Next Big Thing” Interview

Author: Patricia Spears Jones

Picture of Patricia Spears Jones

Photo Credit: Thomas Sayers Ellis

What is the working title of the book?

I am not sure I can answer this because my poetry collection will be a New and Selected and as of yet there is no working title.  But titles are tricky.  My first book The Weather That Kills has no title poem-the phrase is from the poem “The Usual Suspect”, but the subsequent ones: Femme du Monde and Painkiller both have title poems.  I had to fight for Femme du Monde–I am not a French speaking person, but I knew that it was totally appropriate for the collection.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
 I write poems that are shaped into books.  If I was writing nonfiction than I think I could answer that question with more gusto.
What genre does your book fall under?
I am poet, thus my books are poetry collections.  And while the collections may at first seem simple–they are not.  I think the most difficult thing an artist of any sort can do is to make things seem effortless or inevitable like Astaire dancing or Lester Bowie playing a straight out blues, unexpected and totally refreshing.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a
movie rendition?
I can only muse on that question and keep it to myself.  However if Halle Berry wants to play me that’s okay.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Poems by a woman deeply engaged with the world as it is with dreams of worlds to come.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Poetry collections can take over a decade in the same way that novels can. The Weather That Kills had about four-five iterations and took about ten years.  Or they can come out very swiftly-depends on the muse. Painkiller took about four years-the shortest time for me.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Painkiller contains poems chronicling the uproar that love, lust and loss caused in my life, post-September 11.  It also is a kind tribute to the power and beauty of Black men and their sexiness and my relating to them especially the inconstant lover.  But more importantly it is a Valentine to a city  haunted by the destruction of Lower Manhattan in 2001.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The only time I self-published a book was when I was 20 and in college-it was an indepdent study project.  I believe in creating powerful collections that will find a publisher no matter how long it takes.
Patricia Spears Jones

Author:PainkillerFemme du Monde and The Weather That Kills

“Most people are afraid to say extravagant things definitively” Maureen Owen