Jennifer Freed

Writer, Writing and ESL Teacher

I think I ended up writing about that because it was a way to help me - it was like my therapy and then taking what would be possibly a messy journal entry and taming it and shaping it into a poem that would have some meaning to someone else. It's like when you're really focused on some task, then all this swirl of anxiety all around you kind of goes away because you're just focused on this one thing and then with poetry you get a poem out of it in the end. So, when I had enough of those, I realized oh I have enough for a book, and I made my first collection.

Current Employer: 

Jennifer Freed grew up in Stow, Massachusetts and received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Yale University. After college, Jennifer taught English learning skills in the People’s Republic of China. It was there where she discovered her love of teaching which led to her teaching English as a Second Language in the United States. She is married and worked as a teacher in Boston until the oldest of her two daughters was born. Jennifer and her family moved to the Worcester area, residing in Holden, MA, when her husband got a job working at UMass Medical. Jennifer shares the personal struggles she faced when taking on the role of stay-at-home mom, but she states that she does not regret this decision. When both of her daughters started school, she was able to begin teaching again in a volunteer setting at the Worcester Refugee Assistance Program where she taught English to refugees from Myanmar for five to six years. Jennifer is also a published writer, and she shares that her writing is an important way to help her process experiences through reflective journal entries that can later be tamed into published pieces. She is a member of the Worcester County Poetry Association and winner of the 2022 Frank O’Hara Prize.

Interview Date: 
March 9, 2023
Interview Language: