Jasminne Mendez, MFA

Core Faculty

Jasminne Mendez is a Dominican-American poet, performer, playwright and award winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies including The New England Review, The Acentos Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and others. She is the author of two multi-genre collections Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry (Arte Publico Press, 2018). Her play City Without Altar received a new play development grant from National New Play Network Bridge Program. Her debut poetry collection Machete will be released in 2022 (Noemi Press) and her debut picture book Josefina’s Habichuelas (Arte Público Press) will be released in 2021. 

She has received fellowships and residencies from VONA, Canto Mundo, Macondo and the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop among others. She is an MFA graduate of the creative writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and a University of Houston alumni. She lives and works in Houston, TX with her partner in poetry and in life Lupe Mendez and the light of their lives Luz María. 

Educational Background

  • MFA in Creative Writing, Pacific Lutheran University
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Houston
  • BA in Creative Writing, University of Houston

Areas of Expertise

  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Drama
  • Novels in Verse

Personal Statement

As a professor in the city of Houston I have worked with students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and with unique educational needs. I know that students learn best when the material they are asked to engage with speaks directly to their experiences and when crafting learning experiences I always keep that in the forefront of my mind. When I teach creative writing courses and craft my syllabi, I ensure that I always include BIPOC, LGBTQI+ and disabled writers whose work reflects the backgrounds of the students I teach. 

One of the greatest lessons I learned from my own mentors was understanding that the greatest growth occurs when students are encouraged and inspired to ask questions more than to answer them and for that reason I prefer to use the Liz Lerman critical response process when discussing student work in group settings in order to facilitate discussion and conversation. I believe this feedback process is less intimidating and more inclusive of the ways in which BIPOC students learn and respond to critique and provides a better framework for unpacking and developing a piece of writing. Finally, I believe in meeting students where they are as artists and writers and pushing them forward with enough rigor and compassion to help them reach their personal professional and artistic goals.


jasminne.mendez@goddard.edu Website

Affiliation MFA Creative Writing

Location Plainfield, Vermont
Port Townsend, Washington