Jennifer Firestone is a poet and critic whose research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century experimental poetry and poetics, with emphasis on The Feminist Avant-garde, Cross-cultural Poetics, Documentary and Investigative Poetics, Cross-Genre Texts, The Epistolary Form, Procedural & Constraint-based Poetics, Projects of Community and Collaboration, and small press publishing.
Firestone uses the classroom as an experimental lab, challenging her students to implode their definitions of “poetry” by considering poems as critical and investigative lenses. Her students are exposed to innovative activities such as the walking sonnet (walking fourteen NYC blocks while writing a sonnet line per block) or participating in semester-long epistolary correspondences with a classmate about one’s developing poetics.
Firestone received her MFA from San Francisco State University. Her books include Flashes (Shearsman Books), which was Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Blog’s “Poetry Pick” for 2013, Holiday (Shearsman Books), Waves (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs), from Flashes and snapshot (Sona Books) and Fanimaly (Dusie Kollektiv). Firestone co-edited (with Dana Teen Lomax) Letters To Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics and Community (Saturnalia Books), a year-long experiment documenting letter exchanges between fourteen poet-pairs. Firestone co-authored LITtle by LITtle with photographer and urban geographer, Laura Y. Liu. Firestone’s work has been published in many journals including: Volta, Drunken Boat, How2 and Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics. She has work anthologized in Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Songs, & Stories for Children and Building is a Process / Light is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim. Firestone won the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press’ Robert Creeley Memorial Prize. Firestone is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series.
MFA, Poetry, San Francisco State University
Belladonna* Collaborative,The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, Small Press Traffic, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP).
Gates & Fields (Belladonna*, 2017)
Flashes (Shearsman Books, 2013)
Letters To Poets: Conversations About Poetics, Politics, And Community (Saturnalia Books, 2008)
Holiday (Shearsman Books, 2008)
Swimming Pool (DoubleCross, 2016)
LITtle by LITtle (Dusie Kollektiv, 2014)
Fanimaly (Dusie Kollectiv, 2013)
Waves (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2007)
From Flashes (Sona Books, 2006)
snapshot (Sona Books, 2004)
Individual poems have appeared in many literay journals and anthologies including Prelude, About Place, Chicago Quarterly, Drunken Boat, e-ratio, 580 Split, Boog City, Fourteen Hills, How2, Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Stories, & Songs for Children, Poetry Salzburg Review, Ping Pong, Typo, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics and Yew.
Essays have appears in: The Volta, Poetry Northwest, Jacket Magazine, Building is a Process/Light is an Element: Essays and Excursions for Myung Mi Kim (P-Queue / Queue Books, 2008).
Performances and Appearances
Double Take. Apexart, New York. 17. Nov. 2015.
Mental Marginalia, Brooklyn. 26. May. 2015.
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Avant-garde of One. Sponsored by Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Brooklyn. 14. Dec. 2014.
Black Radish Books and the Dusie Kollektiv, Seattle. 28 Feb. 2014.
Berl’s Poetry Shop, Brooklyn. 15. Jan. 2014.
Poetry Project, New York. 18. Dec. 2013.
Word, Brooklyn. 14. Nov. 2013.
Bookcourt, Brooklyn. 11 Apr. 2013.
Spare Room, Portland. 11 Aug. 2013.
Canessa Gallery, San Francisco. 7 Aug 2013.
Studio One, Oakland. 2 Aug 2013.
A New Cadence Poetry Series, Santa Cruz. 18. Aug 2013.
The Center for Book Arts, New York. 17 May 2013.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, 9 Mar 2013.
Poetry Project at St. Mark’s, New York, 1 Jan. 2013.
Lectures & Panel Discussions:
"Feminism Meets Neo-Benshi: Movietelling Talks Back.” AWP, Boston. 9 Mar. 2013. Panelist.
"Experiments for the Future: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children" AWP, New York. 23 Feb. 2012. Panelist.
"Small Talk, Small Books." MICRO-POETICS DEPARTMENT of the AC Institute Gallery, New York. 15 Sept. 2010. Co-led discussion regarding poetics and collaborative production of a chapbook.
“The Synergy of Poetics and Motherhood.” Belladonna: Advancing Feminist Poetics And Activism Conference. CUNY Graduate Center and Advancing Feminist Poetics And Activism, New York. 25 Sept. 2009. Lecture.
60 Writers/60 Places. Dir. Luca Dipierro and Michael Kimball. Little Burn Films, 2009. Film.
20th and 21st century Experimental Poetry and Poetics with emphasis on The Feminist Avant-garde, Cross-cultural Poetics, The Language School, The Objectivists, The New York School of Poets, Black Arts, Documentary and Investigative Poetics, Cross-Genre Texts, The Epistolary Form, Procedural & Constraint-based Poetics, Projects of Community and Collaboration.
Awards And Honors
2014 Marsh Hawk Press’ Robert Creeley Memorial Prize.
Visiting Writer: Lower Manhattan Cultural Center Writing Residency (2013-2015).
Writing Residences: Ragdale Foundation, Constance Saltonstall Foundation For The Art, Vermont Studio Center Residency.
Recipient of Eugene Lang's Civic Arts residency on the feminist avant-garde.
Twice selected Eugene Lang Civic Arts Course: Feminist Avant-garde.
Recipient of New School's Mutual Mentoring grant.