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Jessica Jacobs ’02

Alumnae Poet

Jessica Jacobs

Jessica Jacobs new book, unalone (Four Way Books, 2024), engages in conversation with the Book of Genesis, exploring how one of humanity’s most ancient texts comes alive for a queer Jewish woman grappling with issues inherent to modern life: institutionalized violence, global crisis, love, loss, and the search for the divine. Using the most miniscule details of these oft-told stories, Jacobs opens and inhabits entirely new worlds, examining the ways in which mythology, history, ancestry, and language weave together throughout our lives. About the book, National Jewish Book Award Winner Sean Singer writes: “Sensitively aware of Genesis as a living document, the poems use the etymology of its words to show moments where its meanings in our lives are perceptible and barely perceptible.” In unalone’s attentive, thoughtful writing, as in Genesis itself, “Each word/carries what it names inside/and, like a folded paper flower/blooming in water, finds its form/in the moment of its speaking.” Jacobs is also the author of Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press, 2015), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books, 2019), which was named one Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of the year. She also co-authored Write It! (Spruce Books, 2020), a collection of writing prompts, with Nickole Brown. 

Jacobs currently serves as the Chapbook Editor of Beloit Poetry Journal and on the North Carolina Writers’ Network Board of Trustees. She is the founder and executive director of Yetzirah: A Hearth for Jewish Poetry, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building community for Jewish poets.

About Jessica

Photo by Parker J. Pfister

Personal Website
Poetry Center Readings: March 2024, October 2017