About Jen Payne


Jen Payne is a poet, author, photographer, and artist. She is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys contemplating our relationships with nature, creativity, spirituality and our inner lives. Ultimately, she believes it is the alchemy of those things that helps us find balance in this frenetic, spinning world.

Jen writes regularly here at Random Acts of Writing, including an annual attempt to write a poem a day during National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo.

To accommodate her creative work, she founded Three Chairs Publishing in 2014. Since then, has published five books: LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, FLOSSING, Waiting Out the Storm, and her new book WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A Sort-of Love Story.

Her quarterly print project — MANIFEST (zine) — is part lit mag, part chapbook, part hold-in-your-hands art installation featuring writing, photography, and artwork, along with bits and pieces of creative whatnot.

Jen is the owner is Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993, based in Branford, Connecticut where she keeps house with a cat named Molly. She’s been interviewed by the New York Times, has written talking points for a Kennedy, and is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance (BACA), Connecticut Poetry Society, and the Guilford Art Center.


When I tell people I’ve been a writer all my life, they think I’m exaggerating.


  • Her poems have been selected for the international anthology Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee, the Guilford Poets Guild 20th Anniversary Anthology, the Connecticut Bards Poetry Review 2022, and Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, edited by Connecticut’s Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson, funded by the Academy of American Poets.
  • The flash-fiction piece “In The Weeds” was published in The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health, and her writing has also been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Poetry Institute zine Circumference (June 2022).
  • One of 23 artists selected by as part of their CT statewide art treasure hunt called THE EXCHANGE, supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Connecticut Office of the Arts, curated by Howard el-Yasin & Suzan Shutan; featured at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT, 2022.
  • The 100-word story “Rest Stop, Mile Marker 173” was selected as a finalist in the Sunspot Literary Journal’s Geminga 2022 Contest for Tiny Prose, Poem, or Art. (PDF)
  • WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A Sort-of Love Story was featured in “45 Books We’re Excited About from Indie Presses and Indie Authors” from Independent Book Review in April 2022.
  • The creative non-fiction essay “Compensation” was a finalist in the WOW! Women On Writing, Summer 2018 Flash Fiction Contest.
  • Her poem “Wonder Women” was selected to be part of Vibe presented by Community Virtual New Haven.
  • Installations of Jen’s poetry were featured in exhibitions at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery and the Kehler Liddell Gallery (New Haven).
  • Several of her poems were selected for Chapter & Verse, a curated poetry event (New Haven).
  • Photography from Evidence of Flossing was featured in the New Haven Arts Council exhibit “Where the Whole Universe Dwells” at the Perspectives Gallery at Whitney Center.
  • Her photography has appeared in local newspapers, community publications and websites, and in several books.


The posts “Something More Important than Fear’ (December 2010) was featured as a WordPress Fresh Pressed selection.

23 replies on “About Jen Payne”

jen – i have to say… i LOVE it! and i have to ask… is that really YOU in the video? i’m sure it must be – the blog looks clean, pretty, inviting and is just what i needed to read this morning

i hope i signed up correctly – i will also bookmark it just in case – and i have to find out about RSS

congratulations, friend, on a wonderful beginning of this new adventure! T J

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