This week we hear from Chicago poet Parneshia Jones, who reminds us that poetry is about connection – with those who have gone before and with the parents, grandparents and friends who surround us. Listen as she remembers the sweetness of sleeping beneath her grandmother’s quilts and shares a poem for her stepfather – a poem never heard before.
Parneshia Jones’ debut poetry collection, Vessel, is forthcoming from Milkweed Additions. Parneshia is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. Her work has anthologized in publications including, She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems edited by Caroline Kennedy, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South edited by Nikky Finney. Jones is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and serves on the board of Cave Canem and Global Writes. She currently holds positions as Sales and Subsidiary Rights Manager and Poetry Editor at Northwestern University Press.
First launched in April 2013 to celebrate National Poetry Month, WBEZ now continues our weekly series, The Gift – produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September: Poems. This project is a collaboration with UniVerse of Poetry, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world. Each piece drops us into a poets’ inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.