Islander Poets Interview Series – Jayne-Marie Linguist

Photo of Jayne-Marie Linguist outdoors.

Jayne-Marie Linguist is a TAMU-CC graduate student and poet from north Houston, Texas. Jayne-Marie described her work as very personal, and her poems draw on her experiences coming to terms with her identity as a fat queer woman, grief, mental illness, and her journey into fat liberation. Jayne-Marie’s poetry has been published in the Windward Review. She recently was a featured panelist in the Embodying Women’s Bodies in Writing session at the 2024 People’s Literary Festival.  

In this interview, Jayne-Marie spoke candidly of her love of un-structured, free verse and her struggles with perfection…and sonnets. She also reminded aspiring writers that sharing very personal, emotionally meaningful poems selectively or choosing not to share their work does not in any way invalidate their identities as poets, stating: 

“You are still a poet even if you don’t share your work.” 

Jayne-Marie also stated that the most important thing for beginner poets is to “just write.” Although she noted that this advice might sound cliched, it is important to try to write a little bit each day. At the end of the interview Jayne-Marie also read three of her poems: Unicorn, Cake, and Shawnna.  

Watch the rest of the interview with Jayne-Marie here.