Jalen Lisbon '22

By Lyndsey Honor '23, May 8, 2023
Programs & Partnerships Assistant at Poets & Writers

Jalen Lisbon Headshot

Jalen Lisbon, class of 2022, always considered the Department of Writing his home, despite pursuing a B.A. in English. He tutored in the Writing Center, earned a Writing minor, and found Ithaca College by attending the Ithaca Young Writer’s Institute in high school. “This department was really the beginning and end of IC for me,” Lisbon says.

Of all the things Lisbon was a part of in his undergraduate years, he found his work with the New Voices Festival to be most pivotal. His ability to moderate Q&As and prepare contracts for workshop guests—skills he employs professionally at Poets & Writers—was hugely inspired by his work with New Voices.

“Students of writing, especially at IC, are always working on their craft, but the New Voices Festival taught me the value of working behind the scenes in a more managerial capacity,” Lisbon said. “I learned that being an author, editor, or teacher is not the only avenue for someone who loves literature, and I learned how needed every role is.”

Lisbon was hired as a Programs & Partnerships Assistant at Poets & Writers in October 2022. There, he and his team support writers by providing grants for their public readings and by putting on workshops, such as Mapping the Maze

While he’s currently working on many projects, Lisbon’s most excited to share the first initiative he’s spearheaded: a free magazine subscription program for high school students. Alongside UrbanWord, Penguin Random House, the Poetry Foundation, and others, Lisbon’s helping to foster craft development in the next generation of writers.

“In addition, we are providing interested high school creative writing teachers with subscriptions to the magazine to keep in their classrooms for their students,” Lisbon said. If this sounds compelling, be sure to follow along on their webpage.