Jessica Purdy teaches Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. In 2014, she was nominated for Best New Poets and Best of the Net. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She lives in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Recent Publications


ChapbookLearning the Names

Poems published in

The Ekphrastic Review


SurVision Magazine

Good Fat Poetry Zine

The Wild Word

The Light Ekphrastic

Nixes Mate Review

Nixes Mate Review

The Wild Word

Nancy Drew Anthology

Silver Birch Press

Wickford Poetry and Art Anthology

Local Nomad

The Telephone Game

Bluestem Magazine

The Tower Journal

The Cafe Review

Off the Coast


The Foundling Review

Halfway Down the Stairs - 3

Halfway Down the Stairs - 1

Halfway Down the Stairs - 2

Literary Mama



Praise for STARLAND

From the trapdoors and “spy/code” that once enchanted her while reading Nancy Drew, to bumblebees struck by frost “still sucking from the cups/ of blossoms,” Jessica Purdy feels the pulse of mystery underlying ordinary life. Purdy negotiates the bumpy terrain of responsibility, loneliness, dreams, and estrangement in poems that often begin in the natural world and end with meditations on her place in the family landscape. Cover to cover, STARLAND is a complex, deeply felt, and finely written book.
Joyce Peseroff, author of Know Thyself

While the poems in STARLAND ultimately explore transcendence and transformation, they are not afraid to re-draw and blur the many fine lines between reality and dream.  Between the imagination and language.  In doing so, they situate the reader on those lines, wise with their questions and humorous with their doubts.  This is a book of poems by a poet who knows the world is made up of questions, and that all the questions between “Did Jesus really exist?”, and / “Who made these mittens?” are not only equal, but wise in the asking alone. This is also a poet who knows, “Nothing will happen today / or everything I fear might―”.  Reading these wise poems, one walks away feeling less isolated walking their own blurred lines, and glad to meet a fellow traveler along the way.
S Stephanie - author of So This Is What It Has Come To

Learning the Names

Praise for Learning the Names

While the poems in Jessica Purdy's Learning the Names are armed with a reality made in the image of those most overshadowed of gods they more often than not move and unfold with the logic and intensity of dreams, multi-filing and lifting off from these infinitely-felt memories, their assorted voices just coming to, recovering, what once was thought unfailingly lost, not only by naming but re-christening, striking a-new, thus attaining this unseen kind of omen-status, so camera-ready and ever-inventive, so dramatically and menacingly available at times, they gain one a sort of newly sung reason, understanding

Mark DeCarteret, author of FLAP (Finishing Line Press, 2011)

Jessica Purdy charges everyday acts with the power of transformation. Outside her door, the wing feathers of a pigeon are 'splayed open in a version of praying hands;' walking alone, lust becomes 'like a blue river churning dirt,/ a river that dumps itself/ depleted at the origin.' Questions of love, mortality, and the strangeness of being sing through these beautifully observed poems of discovery and reinvention.

Joyce Peseroff, author of Eastern Mountain Time (Carnegie Mellon, 2006)