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Justin Jannise

Justin Jannise (they/them) is the author of How to be Better by Being Worse, which won the 19th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Their writing has appeared in Best New Poets, Best of the Net, Copper Nickel, Houston Chronicle, New Ohio Review, New England Review, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest and Yale Review, among other places. They have received both the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize and the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry.

Jannise grew up in rural southeast Texas. As a first-generation college student, they attended Yale University, where they won the 2009 Albert Stanburrough Cook Prize for Poetry. They worked as a freelance pop culture writer in New York City before attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The University of Iowa awarded Jannise a Teaching-Writing Fellowship in 2013 and named them the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Poetry in 2014. Before completing a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston in 2022, Jannise served a two-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast.

Outside of writing, Jannise also creates poetry-themed drag makeup transformations on Instagram and TikTok. Follow them @quarantine_justine or visit their website at

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