Jessica Baran is a poet, curator, critic and Director of Curatorial and Program Development at Barrett Barrera Projects and projects+gallery. The author of three poetry collections, she is the former art writer for the Riverfront Times (2008-2012), Assistant Director of White Flag Projects (2008-2011), and Director of fort gondo compound for the arts (2012-2016). She is also an educator who has instructed and advised graduate students in the MFA program at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art (2012-2017); taught writing and literature courses to inmates through St. Louis University’s Prison Arts & Education program (2013-2017); and overseen numerous public workshops and panels in a broad range of contexts.

Originally from Northwest Indiana, she holds a B.A. in visual art from Columbia University, NY and an MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. She is also an alum of the ICI Curatorial Intensive (NYC, 2013) as well as the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute (Cherokee Street, 2014). In 2014 the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis awarded her an Artist Fellowship in Literature for her poetry writing. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, poet Nathaniel Farrell, and their dog Benny.