Jory Mickelson (they/them) is a writer, educator, and storyteller whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Court Green, DIAGRAM, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Jubilat, Mid-American Review, The Rumpus, Ninth Letter, and other journals in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They are the recipient of an Academy of American Poet’s Prize and have received fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. They are also a 2022 Jack Straw Writer in the Jack Straw Cultural Center’s Writers Program. Their first full-length collection WILDERNESS//KINGDOM is the inaugural winner of the Evergreen Award Tour from Floating Bridge Press and the winner of a 2020 High Plains Book Award.
They are a graduate of the University of Idaho’s MFA Program, the former Poetry Editor of 5×5 Lit Mag, and the creator of the blog Literary Magpie that uplifted LGBTQAI+ writers, editors and publishers. They have taught workshops and retreats on a wide variety of topics including writing and wilderness, mindfulness, zines, creative writing, and poetry as a spiritual practice. They live in the Pacific Northwest.
Somewhat Artist Statement
The child of two visual artists, I sorted my way through paint, clay and other media to ultimately discover that I prefer making pictures out of words. With a strong background in other artistic disciplines, I learned how visual culture can enrich and expand the written word–how it not only allowed us to see the world, but also see ourselves more closely.
In my own writing I aspire not only to incorporate other artists and their work, but to recontextualize and challenge received ideas about them. By stretching genres, breaking rules, and treading unfamiliar territory, I hope to engage readers. And through this engagement, transform our understanding of our familiar meanings and default understandings about the both words and the world.
Raised in the rural West, I was and continue to be immersed in the natural world. Exposure to these fragile and changing ecologies—their enormity and their intricacies—informs my writing and trains my eye to seek out the names and details intrinsic to the places that we inhabit.
As a queer, nonbinary writer living away from a larger urban center, my writing straddles uneasy borders: those of often regional poetics where LGBTQAI+ voices are often absent, and of the non-urban in queer poetry that privileges urbanized voices.
This tension serves as a home ground to wrestle with the questions of personal and collective legacy, of exile and inclusion, and how we may continue to live with and within the world.
You can contact them HERE