Jennifer Steele is a native of Middletown, CT and has lived and worked in Chicago for over 10 years and is the author of the chapbook A House In Its Hunger (Central Square Press, 2018). She is a fellow of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and Poetry Incubator and her work has appeared in Raising Mother, Hypertext Review, Callaloo, Another Chicago Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and notable others. She received her MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago in 2008 and her BM in Music Business from Howard University in 2006.
She is the Founder of Revolving Door Arts, a nonprofit organization and press dedicated to empowering creative community and evolving the artistic craft of young, new and emerging writers. Revolving Door Arts hosts an annual teen chapbook publication in which supports the manuscript development and publication of 3-5 original short collections of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by Chicago teens. This work is edited by a teen editorial staff as part of project-based and creative workforce development model.
In addition to being a writer, she is a passionate educator. For over 10 years, she has worked with nonprofit education organizations and institutions across Chicago, designing and implementing creative writing, arts and digital media curriculum, programs, and projects. Currently, she is the Partnerships Coordinator for Teen Services at Chicago Public Library where she has been involved in its YOUmedia program since its inception in 2009 as part of her work with Digital Youth Network (DYN). With both DYN and Chicago Public Library she has served as a teaching artist and mentor, education research associate, and led and co-led the design and implementation of major programmatic initiatives including creative workforce development program, (PRO)jectUS, teen-led and designed literary festival ChiTeen Lit Fest, and the online creative writing learning pathway Young Author Playlist.
Her work and experience in education and the literary community have provided her the opportunity to serve as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts in Arts Education and Literature in 2015 and 2016 respectively as well as a 2019 Mozilla Festival (Mozfest) wrangler.
She has had the privilege to teach for and work with partners inclusive of Studs Terkel Radio Archive, 826CHI, Poetry Foundation, Young Chicago Authors, The Kennedy Center, National Writing Project, Museum of Contemporary Art, Center for College Access and Success at Northeastern University, Art of Culture, Inc., Commonwealth Foundation, Camp of Dreams, Polyphony HS, and others. She is a member of the Chicago Learning Exchange (formerly Hive Chicago) and YOUmedia Network and has presented on her work at national and international conferences.
She is working on a full-length collection of poetry and is a very proud mama.