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 publishedAt Last We Enter Paradise in 1991 andPerfect Time in 1994. Jones has editedPoetry East since 1979 and has edited two critical anthologiesPoetry and Politics andOf Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly. He is a professor at DePaul University in Chicago.
Some things that particurally stand out are his poems on the death of his nephew Andrew which take you into the emotions of someone dealing with the death of a close child. The marvelous thing is that Jones's poems do not judge--they simply recreate or reveal the range of human feelings. And very often these poems guide us back from the depths of suffering to a transformed state. In his own words: "Do you know what I think, / drifting off toward dawn? / If, in the garden of the world, / there's such a thing as suffering, / I have never suffered."