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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jen Harris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Harris.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
There’s no one word for what I do. I always wanted to be a writer, so I’ve written. I wrote myself into existence and the journey is available for purchase on Amazon by way of my three books of poetry. My pandemic success story consists of co-hosting the podcast Confessing Animals with the fabulous poet Vanessa Aricco.

We interview creatives, poke around in their business a bit, see what sort of wisdom we can glean. A few nights a week I [virtually] teach The Writing Workshop KC which I founded in 2019. WWKC’s mission is to nurture creative curiosity and inspire confidence within prompt-based writing workshops.

I’m also an ordained minister credentialed by the Universal Life Church, performing wedding ceremonies for queer couples and allies, an enthusiastic volunteer for the Red Cross, and a nationally-certified Recovery Coach and Peer Support Specialist.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Generational trauma/systemic poverty/chronic homelessness college graduate/published author/nationally toured poet.

I’d dare say I’ve seen some of the worst and best life has to offer.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Through an aggressively vulnerable, trauma-informed lens, I unite strangers who share an interest in creative expression and facilitate the development of active, engaged, supportive, empowering writing communities. I am particularly passionate about reaching queer people and those struggling to thrive within the multitude of oppressive systems.

From dive bars to performance halls worldwide, reaching audiences in the thousands from ages 10-90, I have cultivated passion and emboldened the aspirational through my work. Thus far, my content has been a confessional assortment of first-person accounts of queer life in America… and I’m just getting started.

I’m inspired to eradicate the toxic mythology of the hapless creative, offering my students the opportunity to create, develop, edit and perform their work before engaged, paying audiences, all the while seeking validity in the process and not the outcome. I challenge students to defy the internal censor, revive or discover the joy of creating and offer themselves the gift of fulfillment through art.

Featured on NPR, TEDx, Button Poetry & Write About Now Poetry & Queer Eye, KC’s Best Poet 2021, Advocate Magazine’s Champions of Pride award 2021, Harris is the author of 3 books of poetry and the recipient of numerous accolades. Her firstborn community love child, Kansas City Poetry Slam, occurs monthly, since 2013.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Dedicate your books to yourself.

Pricing:

  • WWKC $10/class Subscribe on Patreon

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Travis Young @travislikesfilm and Kelcie McKenney @kelcie_isabella

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