What People Say about Poet for Hire


press quotes

A TRIO OF POETS: Spoken Word

Electrifying, thought provoking, laugh out loud funny, melodic, and totally engaging. Yes, we are talking about Poetry. Poetry served up by poets that are exciting in live performance, taking words on a page and making them dance and shake and shimmy and tremble. Poetry that takes spoken word into the realm of concerts and poetry slams. We changed some folks' minds last year with our first foray into Spoken Word concerts. Regie O’Hare Gibson, Timothy Mason and Jena Kirkpatrick simply rocked the house and they are back. This is poetry you can groove to, poetry that moves you, poetry that gets into your head like a great song. This Trio of Poets proved to the Second Street Live audience that Poetry is definitely hip and hot. Do yourself a big favor and try something new - come out and enjoy the power of POETRY!

-Times Record

JenaGeneration X earth-mother poet, she’s the Howard Stern of local performance art, but with an eloquence absent from Mr. Stern’s outrageous diatribes.

-Dallas Morning News

She opens her mouth and out comes a stream of the unexpected.

-Dallas Morning News

Her poetry certainly defies labels. Her poems are theatre trauma-dramas written and performed by the actress.

-Dallas Morning News

Her work, which she performs at poetry festivals and local coffee houses, is a trip to the dark side, an encounter with “the shadow,” if you will. To Jena, it’s an expression of a universal alter ego.

-Dallas Morning News

Strange ways, indeed. With her disturbing subjects and wild outfits, Jena catches listeners off-guard, especially first-timers who watch as the young woman with doe eyes and a fringe of bangs approaches the stage.

-Dallas Morning News

A poetry on which every human activity, permitted or forbidden, has imprinted its mark. Jena’s viewpoint is that of a kind of proletariat of the intellect.

-The Word

She has the kind of focus rare in a writer so young. A kind of bare bones approach with a social conscience.

-The Word

It is a subject of suspicion whether or not Jena, like Jesus Christ before her, has come to destroy rather than make whole.

-The Word

She delivers her lines like a naughty beatnik sex kitten alternately seducing and repelling her audience with shocking yet ultimately meaningful references to private parts and emotional violence.

-The Met

Yes, you have suddenly met Jena, one of the countless spiritual heirs of the late Charles Bukowski.

-The Met

professional quotes

Jena brings the best of both worlds in working with children, 1stthe real passion for MAKING A DIFFERENCE and 2ndthe ability to relate to children from all kinds of diverse backgrounds.  Her work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas has been a blessing to so many children who deal with the deployment of a parent during this tough time.  I hope you will take this time to look at how your kids can be impacted by the work that Jena does. Her ability not only in poetry, but in life is what we call SPECIAL!

 -Jon F. Charles, CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas

Jena has been teaching with Badgerdog in our creative writing workshops for kids since 2007. Every time I visit one of her classrooms, I’m charmed and awed by the effect she has on her students. Jena’s endless enthusiasm, innovation, and her dedication to teaching inspire young writers to be themselves on the page, to be fearless. Students seem to hang on Jena’s every word, eager to know where she will lead them next. In each classroom, she quickly turns the group into a close-knit and trusting community of writers. We are so grateful to have her as part of our team. Not only does she inspire her students, but she inspires us as well.

-Cecily Sailor, Friends of Austin Public Library Foundation

You have made a difference in the time you have spent with us that will never be forgotten.

-James Glidewell, Baty Elementary School

Your enthusiasm and spirit for teaching is admirable. Thank you for being a constant light to our students.

-Johanna Nevares, Creedmoor Elementary School

She is able to guide an entire classroom of energetic students through an organized lesson plan, while stoking their creative energies throughout.

-Giuseppe Taurino, Badgerdog Literary Publishing Education Program Manager

Overall, Jena’s care for the students, love of her subject matter, and command of the class were apparent. It was a pleasure to watch her teach.

-Laurie Fillipelli, Badgerdog Literary Publishing Education Program Manager

Because of your devotion and the time you have invested, our youth now can see beyond closed doors. You have brought out a quality in them, which many didn’t know they had. Your caring ways enabled them to move beyond their comfort zones and attempt things they had never attempted before. Because of you many youth in our area will have a greater love of poetry and writing.

-Lisa Shepard, Fairway Middle School Boys and Girls Clubs

Jena displays a deep and generous commitment to fostering youth voices in a challenging environment, and the fact that she does so with playfulness and grace makes her success that much more admirable. Badgerdog is lucky to have her as an instructor.

-Elyse Fenton, Badgerdog Literary Publishing Field Program Coordinator

Student quotes

I used to think writing was boring until you started telling us about poetry, now I will always write because it is cool.

-A.J., 4thgrade, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School

Thank you for helping with my poems, that’s when I discovered my voice and now I can make everybody in third grade laugh. My poetry changed everything. I used to write that was not funny at all, but now I’m famous in my own way.

-Romaine, 3rdgrade, Baty Elementary School

Thank you for teaching us your poetry and helping us make our own and say it to our 3rdgrade class. Thanks for telling us how to be a poet. I liked making a project of our own city and pretending we lived there and writing about it. When we were done writing we would say it in front of the class. We went to the cafeteria and practiced. My favorite part was making poems and saying it in front of the class.

-Angelica, 3rdgrade, Baty Elementary School

Dear Ms. Jena, I like it when you told me I can make up my own stories. That was so cool, so I decided to write a 2-page paper about when I was a dog. I raised my hand and you picked me and then I read my story. When you came back with it, it had a note it said, this is a cool story.

-Giovanni, 4thgrade, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School

When we had to read in front of the 3rdgrade I was scared, but when it was my turn I let all of the butterflies out and I did and I was happy for myself.

-De’sha, 4thgrade, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School

"What?” I say as I get out of bed. My mom said I have poetry class today. “But I don’t want to go,” I say. “But you have to,” said Brianna. So I got dressed in an angry way on a Saturday. When I got in the car I see poetry school. When my mom drops me off I see a very nice and colorful woman and when I got in the classroom she was there! As I walk up to her she smiles at me and I smile back. She said her name is Ms. Jena and I knew it was gonna be a good day.

-Kolbe, 4thgrade, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School

Ms. Jena you are very, very funny. Every day when you come into our classroom you make me smile and be happy when I am sad. You come into the classroom and always make me feel better.

-Maria, 4thgrade, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School

Hey! Look, I see a lady in the other side of the street. I see her and I think, hey, she is really pretty and I also think she is really smart, likes to write, has a great smile, and is awesome with kids. I go meet her and she is great with kids, has an awesome smile and really pretty. She taught me a lot of things I will never forget and she is all I said and more. Thank you, Ms. Jena for all you did!

-Gaby, 4thgrade, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School