Jennifer Bartell Boykin

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Poet Laureate of Columbia, South Carolina

Jennifer Bartell Boykin was born and raised in Bluefield, a community in Johnsonville, South Carolina. She received a BA in English literature and creative writing from Agnes Scott College and an MFA in poetry from the University of South Carolina. She is currently pursuing a master of library and information science at the University of South Carolina to become a school librarian.

Bartell Boykin is the author of Traveling Mercy (Finishing Line Press, 2023). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Obsidian, Callaloo, the Raleigh Review, kinfolks: a journal of black expression, the museum of americana: a literary review, and Scalawag.

Bartell Boykin is the recipient of fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole. She teaches creative writing and English dual-enrollment courses at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, where she was named the 2019–20 Teacher of the Year. She is also a Spectrum Scholar (American Library Association) and an Augusta Baker Scholar at the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science.

Bartell Boykin currently serves as poet laureate of Columbia, South Carolina. In 2023, Bartell Boykin received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship