Jessica Piazza

Jessica Piazza (Poetry) | Los Angeles, CA

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Jessica Piazza is the author of two full-length poetry collections from Red Hen Press: the award-winning poetry collection Interrobang (Red Hen Press) and Obliterations (co-written with Heather Aimee O’Neill), as well as the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press). Jessica curates the Poetry Has Value blog, where she and others explore the intersection of poetry, money and worth. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, where she teaches Writing & Rhetoric. She co-founded Bat City Review in Austin, TX and Gold Line Press in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more at and, or follow her on Twitter @JessWins.


Obliterations (Red Hen Press, 2016). With Heather Aimee O’Neill. Erasure. Poetry.
Interrobang (Red Hen Press, 2013). Poetry.


This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Poetry.

Press & Reviews

“Promising work from a writer worth watching.”
—­Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

“Jessica Piazza’s brilliantly conceived debut collection, Interrobang, is a stunning sequence of (primarily) sonnets that unfolds with both a mature formal acuity and a profound philosophical sophistication. It is an absolute tour de force. These poems emerge as reflections of a kaleidoscopic self as they interrogate those fears and desires that drive and haunt us. Whatever the answers might be to these exclamatory questions, the speaker of these beautiful and troubling poems knows she has only one response available to her–to continue regardless, and to persevere.”
—David St. John

“What an ear, here! Jessica Piazza’s poems are such etched, alive word sculptures, crystal prism poems of love and longing and punch.”
—Aimee Bender

“Jessica Piazza is an heir of Hopkins, a poet engaging generously in metaphysical struggle. In this unusually deft book, she sets out to offer her voice on the altar of iambic pentameter and shares the fears she encounters there with quirky, firm metrical dexterity and breathtakingly succinct wit. Interrobang is a serious accomplishment.”
—Annie Finch

“More than just someone of firm conviction, Piazza proves herself in this collection to be a master of form. From sonnets to pantoums to poems that create their own rhyme schemes and metrical patterns, the powder kegs Piazza offers us here have clearly been painstakingly arranged.”
—Dakota Girilli, Coal Hill Review

“This is not a sky, and these are not ekphrastic poems. Jessica Piazza has imbued them with the very qualities they observe in the works they address: each is “an unfoldment,” and collectively “their imagined new lives are more real than the truth.”
—H. L. Hix, author of As Much As, If Not More Than

“Jessica Piazza’s ekphrastic poems, each addressed to a painter (from Raphael to Bacon), exuberantly shrug off the boundaries between seer and seen, inner and outer worlds. Inventive, oblique, inspired, they enact rich encounters with texture, light, shifting perspective while staging, through formal ruptures, the subtle movement of ecstatic emotion and mind—fluid, roiling in color that is sound, image that is heard, rivers that remember. This is a magnetizing series that allows the reader to re-imagine the painterly in the poem, the poetic in the painting—and moreover, the voices invited and multiplied in such crossings, equipping us to read, after Turner, “the relentless memoirs this river writes of the dead.”
—Susan McCabe, author of Descartes’ Nightmare

“With each read, Interrobang teaches me things because it’s smart. Smarter than I am. But its intelligence doesn’t leave me cold. Because it’s smart without being the tiniest bit pretentious.”
—Traci O’Dea, Smartish Pace

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