Jennifer Blackburn, Administrative Assistant

Born and raised in the not-so-wild wilds of suburban Boston, Jennifer earned her BA in English from UMass-Amherst and her MFA in Poetry from the University of Arkansas. A published poet, her work appears in Subtropics, Hayden’s Ferry Review and the Journal, among other magazines. “There’s something about all poetry that satisfies the puzzle player in me.  Word play makes me shout and clap my hands.  I love quiet poems, too—poems that are (on the surface)  about nothing…  poems that make readers see that what  appeared to a dead end is actually a door to a larger, stranger  world.”


Julia Falkner ’19 (Fall ’16 – Spring ’18)

Julia Falkner (’19) is a neuroscience major and poetry concentrator at Smith from Louisville, Colorado. She served as a 2014 National Student Poet, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets creating original work. Her writing has also been recognized by the YoungArts foundation (2015 finalist in poetry) and with five national medals from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She has read her work at the White House, the Library of Congress, the Poetry Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. In 2015, Julia designed, coordinated, and implemented eight free poetry workshops that prioritized LGBT poets and narratives for teenagers and young adults in Denver and Boulder, Colorado.

“Studying neuroscience has opened lots of questions for me about what consciousness is and what it may mean. These questions involve poetry just as much as they involve science – the two disciplines are simply different ways of asking. I’m curious about how we perceive light, what our bliss is made of, how our bodies remember what has happened to them. All of my coursework at Smith has left me hungry to write, to reveal what underpins the mind in a creative and interdisciplinary way.”

Janelle Tan ’18 (Fall ’17 – Spring ’18)

“Poetry is language set alight. It is falling in love with a poem’s way of seeing the world, with an unruly image, with someone. When you carry a poem with you, you carry the voice of someone whispering their grief, pain and struggle in your ear.” Janelle Tan (’18) is a city girl with a lifelong love for subway systems, skyscrapers and food from all over the world. She grew up in Singapore speaking English to her mother and Mandarin to her father, but learned Russian and Spanish somewhere along the way and made an attempt at Icelandic. Passionate about poetry, metaphysics, and the color pink, she is a hesitant growing-block theorist and ardent foodie. She has spent summers in Paris and St Petersburg, and recently returned from living abroad in Moscow and London. She considers getting stuck in rush-hour Moscow traffic and crossing the Waterloo bridge every day two of her most bucket list-worthy experiences. “It is every kind of human experience set to the music of rhyme and accents. To live a rich, layered life is to write poetry.”

Traci Williams ’18 (Winter ’17 – Spring ’18)

Bio forthcoming


Maddy Vogel ’19 (Fall ’16 – Spring ’18)

Bio forthcoming


Linda Patterson ’18 (Fall ’17 – Spring ’18)

Bio forthcoming


Maia Erslev ‘18


Past Interns
Madison Chafin ’17J
Elizabeth McCormack ’16
Kylie Power-Sullivan ’17
Sophia Deady ’16
Jamie Samdahl ’15
Hannah Young ’15
Katherine (Kitty) Dymek ’14
Janan Scott ’13
Liliana Farrell ’13
Ai-Lien Nguyen ’13
Zeina Dajani ’11
Melissa Davis ’10
Nora Mally ’10
Margaret Zaccardi ’10
Iemanja Brown ’08
Janna White ’07
Tyler Davis ’07
Julia Williams ’07
Sarah Coburn ’07
Collyn Hinchey ’05
Alexandra Goldschmidt ’04
Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell ’04
Batinah Amarita Rabia Dawdy ’03
Allison Hector ’03
Neda Maghbouleh ’04
Katherine Hagner ’02
Monica Dacumos ’02
Stephanie Faith Wiens ’01
Taymiyra Zaman ’01
Binta Jeffers ’00
Senait Kassahun ’01
Abe Louise Young ’99