Skip to main content

Jane Palmer ’00

Alumnae Poet

Jane Palmer is a professor, community-based researcher, activist, and part-time M.F.A. in creative writing student at American University in Washington, D.C. She writes poetry, creative non-fiction, picture books, and academic journal articles. In 2022, she was selected for a We Need Diverse Books mentorship for her picture book on the power of nature when navigating grief. She is currently dreaming of—and working toward—a world without violence. Twitter: @jane_e_palmer.

Select Poems

How does it feel

to walk down the street,

confident no one will harm you

to be in a crowded space and

not scan for all possible exits

to let down your guard and

invite love over to stay.

Fight, flight, or freeze,

asks the therapist.

I say I fight

because the truth

is more complicated and

I no longer want to be the me

that freezes or flees.

How is your sleep,

asks the doctor.

Fine, I say.

Because when I sleep

I dream of wild worlds

where I fight dragons

and win.

I wake up unrested, but accomplished

I start my day ready to conquer any challenge

ready to invite you over to stay

without worrying about exits

or dragons.

Published in Moveable Type Issue #10, March 2022