Saeed Jones is a powerful voice in the world of literary activism and his writing often takes on questions of identity. As the executive editor of culture at BuzzFeed, he has shaped his platform into a tool for social awareness.
Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. His debut collection, Prelude to Bruise, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. The collection also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which described the book as, “a fever dream, something akin to magic.” His poems engage themes of intimacy, race and power, and often incorporate elements of mythology. In a 2014 interview for PEN America, Jones stated, “I’m obsessed with manhood as a brutal and artful performance. My mind always finds its way back to the crossroad where sex, race, and power collide. Journeys, transformation as well as dashed attempts to transform, fascinate me as well.”
Jones has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer Art Mentorship. He lives in New York City where he’s working on his memoir, How Men Fight For Their Lives. Set to release in the spring of 2018, the memoir captures Saeed’s experience growing up as a queer, black male in southern America.