JoAnn Balingit is a writer, educator and arts advocate. She has served as Delaware’s poet laureate since 2008, engaging students and writers at all levels in appreciating poetry, as well as the public’s imagination with statewide performances and News Journal columns “On Poetry.” She has worked with young people, adults, professional writers and special populations in schools, colleges, libraries and community organizations across the state, offering beginners’ workshops, master classes, and lectures on the process of writing a poem.
JoAnn regularly visits schools as state coordinator for Poetry Out Loud and as the co-coordinator of Delaware region’s Scholastic Writing Awards, two national competition programs that recognize and encourage talented teens.
She is the author of Forage (Wings Press 2011Whitebird Chapbook Prize) and a full-length collection of poems, Words for House Story (WordTech 2013), celebrating “the house of our longings, our memory, and our hopes” (Fleda Brown). Her poetry and prose can be found in journals such as Beltway Poetry, Cutthroat, Kweli Journal, Smartish Pace, Salt Hill and Verse Daily and in anthologies including Best New Poets, DIAGRAM.2 and Urban Voices: 51 Poems from 51 American Poets.
JoAnn holds masters degrees in literature and library science from the University of California at Irvine and Indiana University, and a doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware. She has taught college literature and composition, and she was for many years a library media specialist and teacher trainer in technology in Delaware and Pennsylvania public schools.
In 2014 and 2015 JoAnn was a featured performer at literary arts events in Delaware as well as Sunday Salon NYC; Feats of Poetic Strength and Moonstone Arts readings in Philadelphia; Brick Street Poetry in Zionsville, Indiana; and literary festivals and series sponsored by DePauw University (Indiana), the Poetry Society of Virginia, Delaware Art Museum and Delaware Technical & Community College. She was a FY2014 literature grants panelist for NEA and has been a juror for book contests such as the 2015 Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual book award. She is an assistant editor at YesYes Books, an independent press based in Portland, Oregon.
Her honors include fellowships in fiction and poetry from Delaware Division of the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a 2014 Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Foundation Fellowship. Awards include a 2010 Global Filipino Literary Award and most recently the 2015 Westmoreland Poetry Award.
JoAnn is married to UD professor Fred Hofstetter and is the mother of four children, two visual artists, one musician, and one nurse-in-training. She has a granddaughter who loves to write. She has lived in northern Delaware for 25 years and so considers herself lucky to be steward to the White Clay Creek nature area by proximity—and lucky to be able to hit the beach now and then on a good day for surfing.
You can read samples of her work, see her upcoming events and read an extended bio at her website.
Newark, DE 19711