Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poetic Profile: Quincy Scott Jones

1) How would you describe your poetry?

It’s hard to describe one’s own work, but after reading my work, one of my most respected mentors described me as “one odd dude.”

2) How does poetry fit into your everyday life?

I know it sounds cliché, but poetry is life. You breathe it, you hear it, you wear it on your skin. Poetry sends you text messages, e-mail alerts, and somehow gets invited to Sunday night dinner.

The only problem is finding a way for poetry to pay the bills.

3) What poets and/or authors inspire you?

The Usual Suspects:

Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Askia M. Toure, Lewis Carroll, Lamont B. Steptoe, Zora Neal Hurston, Gil Scot Heron, Sherman Alexie, Alan Moore, Philip K. Dick (need to read more), Fran Ross, Richard Pryor, Saul Williams, Tracy Morris, Robert Hayden, Nella Larsen, Larry Neal, Biggie – Tupac – Kafka – Whoopi, Robin Williams, William F Van Wert (Bill), Bill Withers, Richard Wright, Steven Wright.

Oh, and the author of the alphabet: whoever wrote that song wrote everything (old Steven Wright joke).

4) How does the community of Philadelphia play a part in your poetry?

For all her conflicts, few mention how Philadelphia, much like America, is a community of communities: the blues of Olde City echo in the rhythm of West Philly, in the funk of South Philly, all while the satellite communities like Arcadia and 69th Street dance along. Philadelphia is a city of cities, a new discovery every day.

Of course, I was raised in Jersey, so maybe it’s just new to me.

5) What is the last book you have read that you enjoyed? Tell our Big Blue Marble community a little about it.

I’m looking forward to reading this new book, Old News. I forgot the author’s name, but I hear it’s really good.

Quincy Scott Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a master’s degree from Temple University, and $100 once working as a supermarket clown. His work has been or is forthcoming in African American Review, Journal of Pan African Studies, Water~Stone Review, California Quarterly, Let Loose on the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75, and the anthology From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth. Since 2006 he has taught “Poetry on Page and Stage,” a course exploring the idea of poetry as live performance as well as a performance on the page. With Nina Sharma Jones, he co-created the Nor’easter Exchange: a multicultural, multi-city reading series. His first book, The T-Bone Series, was published by Whirlwind Press in 2009.

Quincy Scott Jones and Ryan Eckes will be reading this Saturday, February 18th at 5pm. Please come check them out!

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