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. Apropos of Nothing is “about nothing,” and yet it evokes the essential suffering, bliss, and awakening of the attentive life. These well-reasoned, wise poems are portraits of intellection that show us just how joyous and sustaining the music of the mind can be.
“This may be the secret bombshell of the season. Richard Jones is one of the great secrets of poetry in this country today. His voice, intensely lyrical and wildly imaginative, fairly sings, imparting wonder to the ordinary… this is Jones’s sixth book, and it may be his best yet.” —Powell’s Books Staff Pick
“Jones is adept at creating a window on a world without calling attention to the glass… Jones’s poetic technique is masterful without ever calling attention to itself… The poems are highly musical… Jones is expert at matching sound to sense.” —Exterminating Angel
“The language of [Richard Jones’s] poetry reads and feels quiet, yet the words are sharp and clear. A Richard Jones poem can make you feel comfortable and contained, but turn the page and he’ll tip you out of the wheelbarrow onto rocky soil… His poetry is grounded in reflective thought, life experience and, most importantly, a deep sense of grace… Few American poets combine his word economy with lyricism and few have the versatility and discipline to handle such a variety of subjects.” —California Institute of Arts and Letters
“Jones has mastered a poetic voice that is casual yet resonant, capable of swinging from ordinary events to metaphysical speculations and back again seemingly without effort… The sparse, sharp, humane language of these poems is distinctive… [Copper Canyon Press] has a long history of publishing poetry that offers both beauty and wisdom. Apropos of Nothing is a worthy addition to their distinguished catalog.” —Poetry
“Luminous, deceptively simple mind music.” —Neon