Featured Illinois Poet

Although this website's objective is simply to promote the art of poetry, its special focus is the rich bounty of work created by our state's poets past and present. Through features on the work of Illinois poets, the site will highlight the poetic legacy of Illinois and showcase the bevy of fine poets currently writing within the state.

Biographical Note

Richard JonesRichard Jones


Throughout his career, Richard Jones has written from a luminous interiority, in deceptively simple, elegant language. His complex and intimate poems are spare, intentional models of clarity and restraint. Yet the formal quietness and the clear style belie neither the poetry's soulfulness nor the poet's intelligence; rather, such lucidity attains a kind of radiance.


Richard Jones's books include Apropos of Nothing (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) and a forthcoming volume, The Correct Spelling & Exact Meaning (Copper Canyon, 2009). His poems are published in such popular anthologies as Billy Collins's Poetry 180 and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems, and he has been heard on National Public Radio. His new and collected poems, The Blessing (Copper Canyon, 2000), won the Society of Midland Authors Award for poetry. For thirty years he has been editor of the literary journal Poetry East, which celebrates poetry, translation, and art from around the world. Currently he is professor of English at DePaul University in Chicago, where he directs the creative writing program.


"Richard Jones is a poet of the heart." - Poetry


Books of Poetry

  • The Correct Spelling & Exact Meaning. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, forthcoming 2009.
  • Apropos of Nothing. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 2006.
  • The Blessing: New & Selected Poems. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 2000.
  • The Stone It Lives On. Easthampton: Adastra Press, 2000.
  • 48 Questions. Los Angeles: Tebot Bach, 1998.
  • The Abandoned Garden. Minneapolis: Tunheim Santrizos, 1997.
  • A Perfect Time. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 1994.
  • At Last We Enter Paradise. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 1991.
  • Sonnets. Easthampton: Adastra Press, 1990.
  • Country of Air. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 1986.
  • Walk On. Charlottesville: Alderman Press, 1986.
  • Innocent Things. Easthampton: Adastra Press, 1985.
  • Windows and Walls. Easthampton: Adastra Press, 1982.

Richard Jones' Poems

The Altar - HTML
The Altar - Audio

"The Altar"

Rest Stop - HTML
Rest Stop - Audio

"Rest Stop"

The Diner - HTML
The Diner - Audio

"The Diner"

The Spoon - HTML
The Spoon - Audio

"The Spoon"

Why do poets write? - HTML
Why do poets write? - Audio

"Why do poets write?"

Sky Funeral - HTML
Sky Funeral - Audio

"Sky Funeral"

Cherries in the Snow - HTML
Cherries in the Snow - Audio

"Cherries in the Snow"