The Beloved Community

Copper Canyon. Sept. 2023. 98p. ISBN 9781556596667. pap. $17. POETRY
In the fifth poetry collection from Jones (A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems), readers who are new to her work will be transfixed by her use of rhyme and language as she explores the meanings of community, in terms of place, the history of racial violence in those places, and the ramifications of that violence. This includes Brooklyn on the third anniversary of the killing of Eric Garner (“Brooklyn is green as the grass/ In Lorca’s fingers”), and Summit, IL, and Chicago, exploring the birth and death of Fred Hampton. “Green Ribbons,” one of the many moving pieces in this collection, describes ribbons that were worn between 1979 and 1981, during the Atlanta child murders, when 29 Black children were killed: “All summer long, the children/ Walk into the green darkness and return as ghosts./ Ghosts scorch the green fields where they met the blasted heat of hatred./ Promise ended tomorrow is someone else’s day.” This rich collection also includes poems dedicated to or inspired by artists, musicians, and other poets, as well as collaborative poems with Ada Limón and Marilyn Kallet.
VERDICT Moving and powerful, Jones’s latest collection is recommended for most libraries.
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