Join us for a reading and signing celebrating the launch of award-winning poet Rodney Jones's new book, VILLAGE PRODIGIES.
A novel in language as dense and lush and beautiful as poetry . . . [or] a book of poetry with the vivid characters and the narrative force of a novel? Whatever you care to call it, it’s a remarkable achievement.” — Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls
Village Prodigies imagines the town of Cold Springs, Alabama, from 1950 to 2015 and unfurls its narrative reach as six boys—prodigies and swains—grow up and leave the familiarity of home and the rural South.
Yet all prodigies, all memories, all stories inevitably loop back. Through a multiplicity of points of view and innovative forms, Rodney Jones plays with the contradictions in our experience of time, creating portals through which we travel between moments and characters, from the interior mind to the most exterior speech, from delusions to rational thought. We experience Alzheimer’s and its effect on family, listen to family lore and read family Facebook posts, relive war, and revive half-forgotten folktales and video games. In this deep examination of personal and communal memory, Jones blurs the lines between analog and digital, poetry and prose.
RODNEY JONES is the author of eleven books of poems. His many honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Harper Lee Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Award, and he has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. He teaches in the low-residency MFA creative writing program at Warren Wilson College and lives in New Orleans and Southern Illinois.
"A novel in language as dense and lush and beautiful as poetry . . . or] a book of poetry with the vivid characters and the narrative force of a novel? Whatever you care to call it, it's a remarkable achievement." -- Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls
Exulting in the speech of his native Alabama, Rodney Jones's new poems combine satire and ode, formal lament and ribald joke. James Dickey praised this poet's early work as "one of our most poignant and inescapable renditions of the agony at the historical razor's edge." Now, in his sixth book, Jones extends his emotional and stylistic range.
On receiving the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1990 for his third book, Transparent Gestures, Rodney Jones was hailed as "a brand-new world-class poet." This collection of poems, rich in irony, sensuousness, and pleasure, reveals his robust, humorous, earthy, and cerebral view of reality and his exploration of all regions and sensibilities of American life.
Rodney Jones has long been praised for his masterly storytelling and the bold southern voice he brings to his poetry. Salvation Blues celebrates the range and evolution of his work over a twenty-year period with one hundred selected poems -- including twenty-four bold pieces published only in this collection.