Our agency sparkles with a different energy when Jess is onsite. Her poetry workshop’s dedicated participants, all older adults ranging in age from early 70s to mid-80s, show up weekly regardless of weather, each eager to explore the poems Jess has chosen and those they have written and wish to share. Jess has a way of creating a space where there are no wrong answers and where all are welcome to engage with poetry whether they are just beginning or have loved the form for a long time. She has knit together a beautiful community. But shh! So many members of the group have told friends about Jess that the room is overflowing!
Dorot staff of the Lasting Impressions Department
I had never before written a line of poetry, but while participating in a workshop led by Jess at my senior center I came up with a collection of poems to give to my family. Jess is warm and encouraging, and a supremely talented poet. Her workshop is a treasure.
As the group leader for our poetry class [at the 92nd St. Y], Jess imparts her extensive knowledge and skill with a touch that includes humor, dedication, and fair-mindedness. Her critiques always have the clear purpose of teaching rather than just giving an opinion about whether or not a poem is good. I always enjoy her classes.
[For our Brooklyn Poets workshop] I really liked how Jess spoke about our poems, always very warm and considerate, giving each poem her full attention, regardless of personal style or preferences. Her comments were to the point, and the conversations fruitful and inspiring.
Jessica is a creative, sensitive, and non-judgmental instructor whose devotion to poetry and her students improves all our work. I returned to poetry writing after 30 years away, and her assignments and rapport with our group [at Central Synagogue] had me writing each week with increased confidence.