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About Kelly Jones

I'm a first generation college graduate with nearly a decade of professional experience in outreach, education, communications, and project management within higher ed, public libraries, and nonprofits.


A trained improviser and natural storyteller, I enjoy working with others to design engaging learning opportunities, build community, and enhance communication efforts. I'm passionate about sustainability and diversity & inclusion, and am happiest when working on projects that center creative alternatives to big problems.

These are a few of my favorite things: manatees, glitter, small impromptu dance parties, and allusions.

Events, Readings, etc.

Readings, Panels, and Artist Talks

  • Writers Talk w/ Passengers Press, Summer 2021

  • West End Poetry Festival Virtual Reading, Fall 2020

  • Pandemic Poetry, Virtual Reading Series, Spring 2020

  • Traumedy Show, Pittsboro, NC, Winter 2019

  • West End Poetry Festival, Carrboro, NC, Fall 2019

  • Indy's Poetry Contest Winners' Reading @ So & So Books, Raleigh, NC, Spring 2015

  • Artist Talk @ Elsewhere Museum, Greensboro, NC, Spring 2015

  • Hands On Literary Fest Reading @ Maison St. Charles, New Orleans, LA, Winter 2014

  • Featured Reader, Ladyfest, New Orleans, LA, Fall 2014

  • Panel Discussion “What Are Editors Looking For,” Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers, Fairhope, AL, Spring 2013

  • Featured Reader, River Writers Series, Baton Rouge, LA, Fall 2012

  • Featured Reader, Ladyfest, New Orleans, LA, Fall 2012

  • Featured Reader, GCACWT, Fairhope, AL, Spring 2011, 2012, and 2013

  • Class reading at the Maple Leaf, New Orleans, LA, Winter 2010, 2011, and 2012

  • Panel Discussion “When Two Become One: Merging of Identities in New Orleans’ Public Colleges,” Louisiana Association of College Composition, Lafayette, LA, Spring 2011

Nominations and Recognition

  • Pushcart Prize Nomination (2022) for poem "A Burning Ship Carrying Luxury Cars is Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean"

  • NCSU Poetry Contest Finalist (2021) for poem "Absence of Memory and a Pile of F Words"

  • Best New Poets Nomination (2017) for poem "When Trying to Trick Me, Do"

  • Pushcart Prize Nomination (2016) for poem "When Trying to Trick Me, Do" 

  • Sundress Press Best of the Net Nomination (2016) "The Gift of Forgetting"

  • 3rd Place, Indy Annual Poetry Contest, 2015

  • "After My Great-Grandmother's Funeral" will be traveling on the R-Line throughout April for the Raleigh Review's Poetry on Buses project, 2015

  • Runner Up, Dallas Poets Community Chapbook Contest (for unpublished collection Between the Blue), 2014

  • Finalist, NC Humanities Council Linda Flowers Literary Award, 2013

  • Nominee, AWP Intro Journals Project, 2013

  • Honorable Mention, Andrea Saunders Gereighty Poetry Award, 2012


  • Communications Intern, Elsewhere Museum, Spring and Summer 2015

  • Poet in Residence, Art Farm Nebraska, Summer 2011

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