New and Selected PoemsBook - 2000
Fifteen years ago, Copper Canyon's editor Sam Hamill, a man hardwired with a fierce "bullshit detector", was invited to attend a reading by a then unknown poet. He reluctantly accepted the hosts' invitation and something unusual happened: Later that evening Hamill approached the poet, Richard Jones and asked him to send a manuscript for consideration (something Hamill hadn't done before and hasn't done since). Jones, thinking this simply a polite gesture never sent the poems. A year passed before he received a terse letter from Hamill saying, "When I ask for a manuscript, I want to see a manuscript". And thus began Copper Canyon's longstanding commitment to the poetry of Richard Jones.
What Hamill saw that night was a young poet who demonstrated a gift for the poetic line which most poets don't achieve until late in their careers. He heard poems which explored the sacredness in the details of daily living, an art so skillfully subtle as to become almost transparent.
Gathering over one hundred previously uncollected and new poems, together with four previous books, The Blessing provides a necessary overview of a surprising and deceptively accessible poet.