Clarence Major and Patricia Spears Jones read from new and selected work, followed by a conversation with each other and their audience.
Clarence Major is a prizewinning poet, painter and novelist. As a finalist for the National Book Award he won a Bronze Medal for his book Configurations: New and Selected Poems 1958-1998. Major was a finalist for the Los Angeles Book Critics Award and The Prix Maurice Coindreau in France. He is the recipient of The Western States Book Award, The National Council on The Arts Award, a New York Cultural Foundation Award, The Stephen Henderson Poetry Award for Outstanding Achievement (African American Literature and Culture Society of The American Literature Association), the Sister Circle Book Award, two Pushcart prizes, the International Literary Hall of Fame Award (Chicago State University), the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts, presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and other awards. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Davis.
Patricia Spears Jones
Patricia Spears Jones is an African American poet and playwright and author of A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015). Poems are anthologized in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry; Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry; broken land: Poems of Brooklyn, bumrush: the page and Best American Poetry, 2000. Her poetry is featured on The Poetry Foundation and Academy of American Poets web sites and in a variety of online and print journals. Mabou Mines commissioned and produced ‘Mother’ and Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting, both premiered in New York City with composers, respectively, Carter Burwell and Lisa Gutkin. She has collaborated with diverse composers and performers including Julie Patton, Jason Kao Hwang, Carolee Schneemann, Lenora Champagne and Ras Moshe Burnett. She recently edited “The Future Imagined Differently” for About Place journal, the biannual publication of Black Earth Institute, where she is a Senior Fellow, and she edited the blog project 30 Days Hath September in 2012. She edited two radically different anthologies: Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat, published by BOMB (2009) and Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women (1978). She lives in New York City.