Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jessica Lee Walsh  

Pen Name: Jessica L. Walsh

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1974 in Ludington, Michigan

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Illinois Connection

Walsh moved to Illinois in 2001 while finishing her graduate studies and teaching at North Central College. After taking her current teaching position at Harper College in 2002, she moved from Chicago to the northwest suburbs.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jessica Walsh is a poet and Professor of English at Harper College in suburban Chicago. She is also the blog manager of Agape Editions, so check it out too!

Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in RHINO, Tinderbox, Sundog Literature, Midwestern Gothic, Ninth Letter online, Whale Road Review, Crab Creek Review, Yellow Chair review, and many others.


Abbie M. Copps Poetry Competition, First Place, 2007

Nominated for Best New Poets, 2012

Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest, Honorable Mention, 2012

Illinois Emerging Writers Competition, Second Place, 2014

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

How to break my neck /
ISBN: 1942004206. OCLC Number: 939532374

. .

Poetry. The poems in Jessica Walsh's HOW TO BREAK MY NECK are alive, visceral, and softly twitching. Each section beginning with different famous last words, these poems interrogate hard-hitting themes of purpose, mortality, and legacy with beautifully playful language. Whether discussing summer camp or a shark in a tsunami, these poems illuminate what it feels like to live, to be breakable.

The list of last tries /
ISBN: 099878107X. OCLC Number: 1104140564

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“Jessica Walsh’s The List of Last Tries is a miracle of focus, a sustained gothic nursery rhyme that describes a girl’s coming of age and coming into power, for which she is shunned and exiled as freak, witch, and murderer. This collection is a captivating female picaresque, each poem taking a step deeper into marginality’s fierce power.” — Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, Four- Legged Girl, Pulitzer Prize Finalist