Leslie Jean-Bart

Jessica Greenbaum

b. 1957


Jessica Greenbaum is a writer, teacher and social worker living in Brooklyn. Her first book came out from the Gerald Cable Prize, her second was chosen by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and by Library Journal as a best book, and of her third book, Grace Shulman complimented “a brilliant use of metaphor,” and said the poems were “enlivened by keen observation, a fresh mind, and a vivid sense of place that makes me want to be there, with her, in her world.” The Boston Globe named it a best book of year. With Rabbi Hara Person she co-edited the first ever poetry Haggadah, and is a co-editor with poets Jennifer Barber and Fred Marchant of a forthcoming anthology of 21st century poems about trees. Recipient of awards from the NEA and the Poetry Society of America, she teaches inside and outside academia, sometimes around Jewish text, and sometimes for communities who have experienced trauma. She has taught classes she designs at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue since 2015, and recently taught poetry writing classes at Barnard College, Vassar College and  Brooklyn Poets (where she is on the board). As a social worker she has designed classes for people who have left ultra-Orthodoxy through the organization Footsteps, with 9/11 first responders through NYU Langone hospital, with survivors of childhood brain tumors through the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. She is always looking to work with groups where poetry that is accessible to read, provocative to discuss, and fun to use as models, encourages the coherence of both community and self-discovery. 

Current City, State, Country

Brooklyn, NY, USA

Published Works

Tree Lines; 21st century American Poems, co-editor with Jennifer Barber and Fred Marchant (forthcoming, Grayson Press)
Mishkan HaSeder, co-editor with Rabbi Hara Person (CCAR, 2021)
Spilled and Gone (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019)The Two Yvonnes (Princeton University Press, 2012)
Inventing Difficulty (Silverfish Review Press, 2000)

Author Site


Barnard College
University of Houston Houston
NYU Silver School of Social Work

Video Reading

Links to Sample Works

Subject Matter