Poet Jennifer Stevenson has been an assistant editor for INALJ since 2011. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in English with a concentration in Literature and Language Arts from Bowie State University (Bowie, Maryland USA) and an MLIS from Rutgers State University (New Brunswick, New Jersey USA). She has worked as a librarian for ten and a half years (with seven years’ experience in school libraries!). Jennifer ENJOYS being a librarian! Her versatile degree has allowed her to work and volunteer in many different settings including the Somerset County Court House, Rutgers School of Labor Relations Archives, the Plainsboro Public Library and New Brunswick Public Library. She has been active in NJLA, and NJASL and currently works in a high school media center. In addition to her high school experience, she’s had the opportunity to work in a pre-K-8 and a K-4 environment. She loves interacting with students from all over and in all walks of life. She credits her students with being an inspiration for her many works. Jennifer is working on publishing her book of poetry and blogs at Jennifer S Stevenson’s Random Thoughts.
As an assistant editor, Librarian, blogger, and more, what inspires your creativity?
I am inspired by life, how people experience different moments and what they take away from it. My best poems/lessons stem from something that really impacted me or that I am most passionate about.
What is INALJ?
INALJ is I need a Library Job and I am an Assistant editor for the IL page. I basically search different websites in the area and then the senior editor compiles them into one big list so that the job searchers only have to look in one area. I am passionate about helping others find a job because I know how hard it can be to know which places to look for a job, the qualifications for the job and just what to expect once you get to the job. I also just recently got my first article published on this website.
Do you remember writing your first poem?
I was 9 when I wrote my first poem. I was a student at St. Mary's in Newark, New Jersey and we were given an assignment to write about flowers. Back then I needed everything to rhyme, but just the way that the poem turned out and described the beauty of the flowers...I was hooked then. My teacher also thought it was really good and I got an A+ on the assignment.
What form of poetry do you like to write?
I mostly write free verse because writing is an outlet for me so I never set out to follow any set format, but I do want to try my hand at haikus.
Do you believe that poetry has an impact on today’s society and culture?
I believe that meaningful words will always have an impact on society whether they are in a song, a quote, a book or in a poem. The thing about these avenues is getting people to listen or read because the message can't be spread or received without first being exposed to the content.
How do you maintain thoughts, ideas, and brainstorming?
Sometimes I do writing prompts that I find online or that I have done in the past. I like poetry.com because they have a tool where you can pick from random words and make them make sense.
Do you have a muse?
A lot of my newer works are inspired by my son. Every year I write a poem about him at the age he is. For instance when he was 5 I wrote Salim at 5 and it was just a snapshot of his personality/capabilities and likes and dislikes at this time.
Please share a favorite poem of your own creation…
I am currently reading two books: The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shinn and What I Know For Sure by Oprah.