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Staff Profile: Jennifer Tatum

1. What do you do for Switchback? This, right here! I will be managing the blog, the Facebook page and Twitter. As a regular Switchback blog follower, and a general fan of this fab poetry press, I am excited to be on the team.

2. What do you feel like you get out of working for Switchback? Being able to be a part of this press, and in a position to promote the work and the mission is something that I am so excited to start doing. I recently read manuscripts for the Gatewood Prize, and the process of reading, discussing and really digging into a collection of poems was an enriching process for me as a writer, which is just an added bonus to working for Switchback.

3. Where are you from, and how important is where you are from to you? I grew up in San Diego, by way of Dallas. Where I am from is absolutely important to who I am. It's not so much about the actual city or state, but about a sense of being rooted somewhere. I guess I should say I am from the playhouse my grandpa and grandma built on Pin Oak, the pink carpet and linoleum on Bunker Hill, and the garage with the green partition on Camino Patricia—yes, that seems right.

4. What are five of your favorite non-poetry-related things? breakfast for dinner, sidewalk chalk with my nieces, searching for furniture that I probably won't buy on craigslist, side ponytails, fall in the city of Chicago

5. If you had a time machine good for one round trip, where/when would you take it? There’s a part of me that wants to go back in time and find some way to help Amelia Earnhardt make it across the Atlantic (though she wanted to do it solo, so maybe she wouldn't have let me), but then another part of me just wants to go back and say, “Hey, fifteen year old Jenn, green cargo pants aren’t that cool and especially less cool when paired with 2-inch foam platform sandals," but again, I probably wouldn't have taken my own advice. Maybe I would take it to some point in the future. I've always enjoyed reading the last pages of a book first.

6. What will be the title of your memoir? Actually, the working title of a collection of essays that I just submitted for my MFA thesis is called, "the trailer at the end of the cul-de-sac." I think, whether or not I end up using that title, this title would be the title of my memoir, if I ever wrote one.

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