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Jamaica Baldwin ’08

Alumnae Poet

Headshot of Jamaica Baldwin

Jamaica Baldwin turns to bone-truth, skin-truth, and song-truth language. She speaks with a tongue cut on the sadness of her mother and father as she writes ‘I am a product of their curiosity, their vengeance, their need,’” Valzhyna Mort praises Baldwin’s debut poetry collection Bone Language (YesYes Books). Precise, disquieting, yet hopeful, Baldwin meditates on loss, misogyny, racism, and desire. Among her many accolades, she received a 2023 Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a RHINO Poetry editor’s prize. Originally from Santa Cruz, CA, Jamaica Baldwin is at work on a second book of poetry utilizing archival research to trace the legacy of her female ancestors from the deep south to the west coast and how colonialism has impacted them.

Jamaica Baldwin earned her B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College and her M.F.A. in poetry from Pacific University, and she recently received her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a focus on poetry and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College.

Co-sponsored by the program for the Study of Women & Gender

Featured works by Jamaica Baldwin:
Back in the Day
Call Me By My Name

About Jamaica

Jamaica Baldwin's Website
Poetry Center Reading Date: October 2023