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Gwen Samuels

Years: 2004, 2005, 2007


Gwen T. Samuels, born in Florida and raised in New Jersey, was a K-12 teacher, college professor, and court interpreter for 30 years. She is a Fulbright Scholar with a degree in linguistics. Gwen has been published in Paterson Literary Review, Exit 13 Magazine, and Cave Canem anthologies. Her first poetry collection, 9 Patch Life, was published in 2019. Gwen contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, and recovered to write about it in A Second Second Chance: A Black Woman’s Story of Recovery from COVID-19. She addresses how racial/environmental injustice and intergenerational trauma contribute to disproportionate death of Black people from the virus. Gwen took a long hiatus from writing because she’s also a visual artist whose work has been exhibited widely. Her muses competed fiercely but her literary arts muse has returned, giving her the creative energy to tell her stories on the page again.