Jayne Benjulian is the author of Five Sextillion Atoms. She has always been a writer. She grew up in suburban backyards near New York City and spent summers swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Drawn to coastlines, she also lived on the West Coast—on an island, in a cabin in the hills, and a house under the redwoods. She began writing as a young girl, leaving letters under the mattress to read years later and see who she had been. Her work appears in numerous literary and performance journals, including Agni, Barrow Street, The Cortland Review, Poet Lore, Nimrod, HowlRound, Women’s Review of Books and Poetry Daily. In 2017, her poem “Frame” was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.
Jayne’s careers have been as varied and many as places she has lived: she served as chief speechwriter at Apple, investigator for the public defender in King County, Washington, and director of new play development at Magic Theater. She was an Ossabaw Island Project Fellow; a teaching fellow at Emory University; a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Theater at San Francisco State University; and a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Lyon, France. Her work was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2017. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.
Jayne lives in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, where she teaches the writing and performance of poetry and monologue. In 2017, she curated Rock the Constitution, a reading of the Constitution by actors and original monologues by writers responding to our times. That same year she founded Berkshire Writers Project and debuted its first program, Live Poets Society Salon, a series of spirited conversations about art.