Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Jones  

Pen Name: None


Born: August 8, 1953 in London, England


Illinois Connection

Richard Jones has been on the faculty at DePaul University in Chicago since 1987. He currently lives in Evanston.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard Jones was born in London, England and came to the United States when he was a year old. He is a notable contemporary poet and is the author of several books of poems. Jones is the editor of the literary journal ''Poetry East'' and a professor of English, he is the director of the creative writing program at DePaul University in Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

48 questions
ISBN: 0941017303

Bombshelter Press. 1998

The Blessing: New & Selected Poems
ISBN: 1556591438

Copper Canyon Press. 2000

Gathering over one hundred previously uncollected and new poems, together with four previous books, The Blessing provides a necessary overview of a surprising and deceptively accessible poet.

"Skillful, direct, and surprisingly delicate."-The Village Voice

Richard Jones was born in London and educated at the University of Virginia. His first book of poetry, Country of Air (Copper Canyon Press, 1986), won the Posner Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. He published At Last We Enter Paradise in 1991 and Perfect Time in 1994.

Jones has edited Poetry East since 1979 and has edited two critical anthologies Poetry and Politics and Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly. He is a professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

The Stone It Lives On
ISBN: 0938566830

Adastra Press. 2000

The sixteen poems contained in Richard Jones's new chapbook, THE STONE IT LIVES ON, each call up a twinge of loss from tragedies that range from the historic to the everyday. Of Jones's poetry, Sam Hamill has said, Richard Jones is one of the most vital and compelling voices of his generation. His art is so skillfully subtle as to become almost transparent, while his poetry opens a luminous world. Author of AT LAST WE ENTER PARADISE, COUNTRY OF AIR, PERFECT TIME, and SONNETS -- all available from SPD -- Richard Jones teaches at DePaul University and edits the journal Poetry East. Perfectbound.

Apropos of Nothing
ISBN: 155659237X

Copper Canyon Press. 2006

“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.

“The Answer”:

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.


-- Society of Midland Authors Award for Poetry in 2000 for ''Blessing: New and Selected Poems''