jgivhan

I am a Mexican-American poet who grew up in the Imperial Valley, a small, border community in the Southern California desert. I earned my M.A. in English Literature at California State University Fullerton, where I was the recipient of the Graduate Equity Fellowship. My poems have appeared in Verdad, Dash, Caesura, Mom Writer's Literary Magazine, Third Wednesday, Cutthroat, Pinyon, Earth's Daughters, Rockhurst Review, Palabra, Prick of the Spindle, Autumn Sky Poetry, Xenith, and Mothering Magazine, and I was the 2010 recipient of the Emerging Voices Fellowship in Poetry through PEN Center USA.

Landscape with Headless Mama is here!

Dear Friends! My book is now available from Pleiades Press and Amazon. If you’d like a signed copy of LANDSCAPE WITH HEADLESS MAMA (17.95 + 2.50 shipping), you can order it directly from me and I’ll send the book to you! Thank you for your support! Just click on the following link to pay using […]

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LANDSCAPE WITH HEADLESS MAMA by Jennifer Givhan

Available from Pleiades Press. Also available from Amazon. Contact Jenn for a signed copy. Landscape with Headless Mama is a poetry collection by Jennifer Givhan that explores the experiences of becoming and being a mother through the lens of dark fairy tales. Givhan describes the book as “a surreal survival guide.” A poet with strong […]

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2015 *Best of the Net*

My poem “If the Jornada del Muerto had a Trachea” is included in this year’s Sundress Publication Best of the Net! I’m over the moon & beyond! Check out the stunning, gorgeous work my poem is alongside as well. All the poetry love, Jenn  

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The Change

My poem THE CHANGE, a finalist for the The Jane Lumley Prize, was published in H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L: “When I was still small I began growing antlers  as a stag grows antlers, as […]

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My One-Hundredth Journal Publication up at Origins!

I’ve been working like a madwoman sending out my poems into the world nearly as long as my son has been alive (I started submitting when he was one, so I mark my poetry career by his life, because truly, I’m not sure either would have been possible without the other–how the imaginary shaped reality, […]

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Mother Writer Interview with Michelle Otero

I’m so excited to share this conversation with fierce Latina poet/playwright/actor/activist extraordinaire Michelle Otero, who discusses her experiences as a writer and stepmother of two. But I wish someone would have handed me The House on Mango Street or Bless Me, Última and said, “Your people write books too.” … We hold mothers to very high […]

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Sewing Feathers and After the Miscarriage II in Waxwing

The mother spreads her arms and waits — hoping at the top of a hill — for a mend in the empty break of sky. –from “Sewing Feathers” (read the full poem in Waxwing). We lived our first existence as if on an island — the waving flag of a companionship always sinking. –from “After […]

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Ritual with Fish Water

She opened the door wider, allowed him in—dragging his fish, his strings of light, his wounds—from the rain. –Jenn Givhan Read the poem in full at The Baltimore Review

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Bird Woman and Bloom

Sacagawea emerges from the hedgehog cacti in the lot behind our crumpling house heavy with cradleboard & mistaken for a token of peace… from “Bird Woman”     The boys next door are ignoring my son. It’s playground politics, the fragile and shifting power dynamics of these early friendships… from “Bloom” Read both poems at […]

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Interview with Rachel McKibbens

Some truth from poet, activist, playwright and badass mama-writer Rachel McKibbens. “As a Chicana mother, I want to tell the story of myself and my ancestors in ways that guide my children towards the kind of self-love I never had permission to know when I was young.” Read my interview with Rachel at Mother Writers.

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If the Jornada del Muerto had a Trachea*

Won second-place in Blue Mesa Review’s Poetry Contest, judged by Carmen Jiménez Smith. Maybe her mama didn’t even notice she too had almost gone away, on the xeriscaping, not breathing nothing –Jenn Givhan Read and listen to the full poem here.

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