Jon Sands

Poet, Spoken Word Artist

Brooklyn, NY
New York US

Author's Bio

Jon Sands was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series, selected for his second collection of poems, It’s Not Magic (Beacon Press, 2019). He is the facilitator of the Emotional Historians workshop, a series of generative writing classes that you can find out more about on Instagram at @iAmJonSands, and is the author of The New Clean (Write Bloody Publishing), a co-host of The Poetry Gods podcast, and a curator for SupaDupaFresh, a monthly poetry series at Ode to Babel in Brooklyn. His work has been featured in The New York Times, published in The Rumpus, The Millions, Cortland Review, LUMINA from Sarah Lawrence College, MuzzleRattleHanging Loose, The Rattling Wall from PEN Center USA, and many others, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry. He has received residencies and fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and the Jerome Foundation. He’s a MFA Graduate in Fiction from Brooklyn College, where his work won the Himan Brown Award for short stories. 

He was a founding curator of Poets in Unexpected Places, a New York based artist collective that moved poetry into unconventional public spaces with free live literature performances featuring accomplished poets and an array of performance artists from varied backgrounds and aesthetics. They were commissioned to curate “Pop Up” exhibitions in college classrooms, federal banks, museums, and much more. He is a facilitator with the Dialogue Arts Project, a non-profit organization that partners with communities in order to help participants collaborate & communicate more effectively across lines of social identity and difference. He taught at Brooklyn College, Urban Word NYC, and for over a decade, facilitated weekly writing workshops for adults at Baily House, an HIV/AIDS service center in East Harlem and The Positive Health Project, a syringe exchange center in Midtown Manhattan. He starred in the award winning web-series Verse: A Murder Mystery from Rattapallax Films, and has represented New York City numerous times at the National Poetry Slam. He tours extensively extensively as a poet, but lives in Brooklyn.

Publications & Prizes


It's Not Magic (Beacon Press, 2019)
The New Clean (Write Bloody Publishing, 2011)
Journals: , ,
Kill Author
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Spindle Magazine
SUSS: Another Literary Journal
The Literary Bohemian
The November 3rd Club

Spoken Word

13 Bar/Lounge (2009)
Bronx Academy of Letters (NYC) (2009)
Lewis & Clark College (OR) (2009)
Miami University (OH) (2009)
Stuyvesant High School (NYC) (2009)
University of Alaska Anchorage (2009)
University of Michigan (2009)
Hampshire College (MA) (2008)
Prizes won: 

National Poetry Series, 2018 (for It's Not Magic)
Himan Brown Fiction Award, Brooklyn College, 2017

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Born in: 
Cincinnati, OH
Raised in: 
Cincinnati, OH
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Last update: Apr 26, 2023