JESSICA KIM (she/her) is a Korean-American high school senior and poet. She has lived in Korea, Singapore, the Bay Area, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California, though she will be heading to Boston in the fall. She identifies as visually-impaired and advocates for the disabled community.
Recently, she has been named the 2021-22 Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate and runner-up for the 2022 United States National Youth Poet Laureate. She is the author of L(EYE)GHT, runner-up for Animal Heart Press' Chapbook Contest, which has been published in April 2022. Her interviews and performances have been featured by NPR, POETRY Foundation, The Kennedy Center, The National Poetry Coalition, The Takeaway (Melissa Harris-Perry Show), The Los Angeles Public Library and many others.
Jessica's poems appear in POETRY Magazine, The Adroit Journal, Frontier Poetry, The Journal, and Waxwing Magazine among others. A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize Nominee, she is also a YoungArts Finalist in Writing (Poetry), 1st Place Winner of Columbia College Chicago's Young Authors Contest, Foyle Young Poet Top 100 Winner, 2nd Place Winner of the Bennington Young Writers Awards (Poetry), Gregory Djanikian Scholar Finalist, and more.
When Jessica is not writing, she serves as the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Lumiere Review and one of the EICs of Polyphony Lit and her school's literary magazine, The Ink and the Iris. She also reads for Palette Poetry, Carve Magazine, and Breakbread Magazine. Last but not least, Jessica is a WriteGirl mentee!
Jessica Kim's poems convey a deep study of forms, building them up to break them down, seeking to make them beautiful through well-wrought lyric which serves as a necessary witness to xenophobia and anti-Asian violence and calling for disability justice.
— Cathy Linh Che, Executive Director of Kundiman & 2022 National Youth Poet Laureate Judge
In [Jessica Kim's] essay... "Disability justice is about making buoyancy permanent." She is referring to a celebratory, life-affirming, light shining in and through type of buoyancy, and I realized I've not seen the term described so clearly, so plainly. Jessica and her poems do as she describes: lift up, ring loud, and shatter the schism of difference.
--Anya Creightney, Programs Specialist at the Library of Congress