And then...

Jen Tappenden earned her BA in English in 1991 from the State University of New York at Buffalo, which is also where she began writing poetry. In the years after graduation she kept writing, became a co-host of the local public access television arts show Truckstop Intellectuals, as well as a Contributing Editor for Traffic East magazine. Her Traffic interview (with Karen Lewis) of Thom Ward (formerly of BOA Editions) was featured on Poetry Daily. During the week Tappenden worked at various full time health information management jobs including: medical coder, HMO quality auditor and coding supervisor for a medical research company. In 2005 Tappenden was transplanted to St. Louis...

...where she found work as a research data manager at Washington University School of Medicine, a job she still holds. She quickly found her way into the poetry community via Loosely Identified, a women’s poetry collective that meets at the public library in University City, MO. From there she became involved with the St. Louis poetry Center, serving on its board and briefly on its executive committee before starting her MFA at the Univeristy of Missouri – St. Louis in 2008. While at UMSL, Tappenden founded Architrave Press in an attempt to interest more literary fiction readers and writers in poetry. Before she completed her degree in December 2012, she was also named the university’s first Poet Laureate. 

Tappenden continues to publish Architrave twice per year. She is also poetry editor for december magazine and one of the team behind the St. Louis Small Press Expo. Her poems have appeared in The Baltimore ReviewFlyway, Compose, and elsewhere. In August 2013 she was named a Creative MasterMind by the Riverfront Times. Her chapbook, Independent City, is now out from Wells College Press  where she was also a visiting writer in October 2016.