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Madison Percy Jones

Madison is the author of the poetry collections Losing the Dog (Salmon Poetry, forthcoming 2022) and Reflections on the Dark Water (Solomon & George, 2016). His poems have appeared in journals such as North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, The Greensboro Review, and in anthologies including Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene. He was the recipient of the Robert Mount, Jr. College Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a Literary Award from the F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, among other awards. He regularly reviews poetry collections and has written for Kenyon Review Online, Birmingham Poetry Review, storySouth, The Journal, and elsewhere. In Spring 2020, he will serve as writer-in-residence at Wolfe Cottage, as part of an award from the Fairhope Center for Writing Arts.

A fifth-generation Alabamian and the child of a teacher and a poet-turned-woodcutter, he has always been interested in the relationship between words and the natural world, both in rural and wild places. Growing up working on his grandfather's farm and cutting trees with his father helped shape his writing's focus on the often fraught relationshps between people and place. His poetry deals with subjects ranging from family tragedy, mental illness, love & loss, the natural world, and environmental destruction, all framed within the context of the American South. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Montevallo and an M.A. in English from Auburn University, where he served as an Assistant Editor for Southern Humanities Review.

Presently, he is a PhD candidate in Writing Studies at the University of Florida. His doctoral research focuses on the role of places and environments in writing and advocacy. He's taught writing courses on poetry, creativity, and place writing as well as on professional writing, digital composition, and rhetorical theory. You can learn more about his academic scholarship at madisonpjones.com. He lives in Gainesville with his wife, Jane.


Poetry Collections

Ordering information, reviews, and sample poems

LOSING THE DOG (Poems)

Salmon Poetry, Forthcoming 2022

In his newest poetry collection, Madison Jones continues to weave a tapestry of loss connecting family tragedies, mental illness, and environmental destruction in the American South. These poems mourn lost places, animals, and people, while locating a voice in spaces of change. Hounded by loss, Jones seeks redemption in the natural world through environmental elegy. These poems bear witness to the past without succumbing to pastoral nostalgia, with memories of growing up in Alabama and Florida deeply rooting the poems in rural and wild places. Through ecopoetry, the speaker works to make sense of the traumatic locations of destruction and loss as well as the often fraught relationships people form with the nonhuman world. By returning to the haunted spaces of memory, these poems seek to recover and reimagine the past in order to survive.

2022 is still a long way away, but keep checking back here for updates as publication day draws nearer. Meanwhile, you can read sample poems from the collection below.

Reflections on the Dark Water (Poems)

Solomon & George, 2016

This collection takes as its subjects loss and memory in the landscapes and wild spaces of the American South, connecting and weaving personal losses with the larger threads of ecological disruption and environmental degradation. These poems seek wildness in industrial, pastoral, rural, and urban places--places neither wholly sacred nor fully desecrated. Memories of growing up in Alabama and surviving family tragedy all push the speaker outward, seeking connections with "that other world" outside ourselves.

Reflections on the Dark Water concerns itself with memory and myth, how the bridge between the two-how the line where they intersect-is the irrevocable location of history. M.P. Jones crosses that bridge, that line over and again in poems that view the past in order to make sense of the present. This is a book that wants to separate "truth from chaff."-Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition

More praise for Reflections on the Dark Water

Reflections on the Dark Water mourns the vanishing or vanished pastoral American South as well as the human and animal lives it sustains. Think of these as eco-elegies, twining the fates of family with those of a carpenter-ant-eaten oak, an abandoned owl's nest, or herons in an industrial park. In a landscape of ever-possible ruin, the poet stakes his claim to sound, whether created through the repetitions of formal verse or through the easy virtuosity of language and line. "For a while, we stand afraid to interrupt / the silence which has swollen until it filled / the lake and the green hill and the dark trees," Madison Jones writes. And then, because poetry rushes into the darknesses and silences of the world, these poems sing. -Cecily Parks, author of O'Nights
Jones had me at the table of contents. Hayden Carruth at a liquor store, Emily Dickinson, and Jim Morrison? Yes, please. As I moved through Reflections on the Dark Water, I fell in love with so much more. In the book's first poem, "The Bicycle," Jones tells us there is "nothing to displace the topography of ruin," save for movement or progress of some kind-hurrying feet or a spinning wheel. In his lyrical narratives, everything moves, even in the tiniest of shifts between sound and the absence of sound, the experience of loss and our memories of it, recovery and the realization that we cannot recover. In every poem, Jones deftly controls the movement of his language, often utilizing such haunting repetition you can't help but linger over each image. Reflections on the Dark Water is often dark; but, look carefully at what Jones wants you to see: there is beauty in our hope for ourselves and our world. Sometimes, as Jones describes, "is it hidden in plain sight."-Erica Dawson, author of When Rap Spoke Straigt to God

Poems

Sample poems available online and/or as a .pdf.

Magna feugiat lorem

Adipiscing a commodo ante nunc magna lorem et interdum mi ante nunc lobortis non amet vis sed volutpat et nascetur.

Magna feugiat lorem

Adipiscing a commodo ante nunc magna lorem et interdum mi ante nunc lobortis non amet vis sed volutpat et nascetur.

"A Prayer for Lethe"

Come
into these diminished forests calling:
out of the midnight of your exiles,
out of the private music at manic dawn,
out of the bitter-grown logic of your talk.


Events

No upcoming readings and signings are currently scheduled, but if you would like to schedule a reading, please use the contact form below. Check back as 2022 draws nearer for updated information on the Losing the Dog book tour.


Contact

If you would like to schedule a reading, or just say something nice, please email me at madisonjones [at] ufl [dot] edu (replace brackets with the appropriate symbol).

You can also get in touch the old fashioned way:
University of Florida
Department of English
P.O. Box 117310
Gainesville, FL 32611-7310