Who I Be

Jennifer Bartell Boykin is the Poet Laureate of the City of Columbia. She teaches at Spring Valley High School, where she was named the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year. She was born and raised in Bluefield, a community of Johnsonville, SC. She received the MFA in Poetry from the University of South Carolina. Her debut book of poetry, Traveling Mercy, will be released in November 2023 under the name Jennifer Bartell. Her poetry has been published in ObsidianCallaloopluck!, As/Us, The Raleigh Review, kinfolks: a journal of black expression, Jasper Magazine, the museum americanaScalawag, and Kakalak, among others. An alumna of Agnes Scott College, Jennifer has fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole. She is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science at USC to become a school librarian.

University of South Carolina Commissioned Poem, Interview & Text of poem

Profile by Richland School District 2

Furious Flower Poetry Reading Recording

Selected Poems

3 Poems in Jasper Writes

“And Gawd” The Texas Review (TW: Sexual Abuse)

“The Deed Index Before 1963” Scalawag Magazine

“Shakespeare in the Barn” Kinfolks: A Journal of Black Expression

“Louis Armstrong Plays for His Wife in Giza, 1961” museum americana

“Scaling” decomP

“She Who Peopled We” As Us

“Leaves Like Prayer” The Raleigh Review

Articles & Nonfiction

EdSurge Article: “Why Self-Directed Learning is Important for Struggling Students

The Sweet Water of Craft , presentation at Furious Flower Poetry Conference, 2014


Agnes Scott College, 2015

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