Hettie Jones’s twenty-three books for children and adults include her memoir of the Beat scene, How I Became Hettie Jones; the poetry collection Drive, which won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber Award; Big Star Fallin’ Mama, Five Women in Black Music, honored by the New York Public Library; and No Woman No Cry, a memoir she authored for Bob Marley’s widow, Rita. Jones has published in journals such as The Village Voice, Global City Review and Ploughshares, and just out are From Midnight to Dawn, the Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad (with Jacqueline Tobin), and a third poetry collection, Doing 70.
Best known for her memoir, which has been called "A feminist scrutiny…those lost decades needed, as the Beats themselves needed it," Hettie Jones has been appearing since 1979 at venues from cafes to colleges. She has been described as "a potent and fearless poet" (Booklist), with "a good mind and sound ideas" (Independent Publisher) and "the gift to paint with vivid words and to cloak her wit with images that linger in the mind long after the reading" (Midwest Book Review). Her most recent collection was praised for being the work of a poet “fully present in the world…who has really thought about life.”
The former Chair of the PEN Prison Writing Committee, and the editor of Aliens at the Border, a poetry collection from her workshop at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Jones lectures widely and teaches in New York at the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center and in the Graduate Writing Program of The New School.