There are always 1,000 ways to tell a story, so introducing myself 3 different ways, if you really think about it, is economical.
The Just the Facts Version
Nicole Homer's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, The Offing, Winter Tangerine, Rattle, The Collagist and elsewhere. A fellow of both The Watering Hole and Callaloo, Nicole serves as an Editor and regular contributor at BlackNerdProblems and as faculty at the Pink Door Writing Retreat for Women and Gender Non-conforming Writers of Color. Her debut collection, Pecking Order (Write Bloody), was the Eric Hoffer Poetry Award winner. She was the the 2018 Dartmouth Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place.
The Short as an Elevator Ride Version
Nicole Homer is a writer and educator. Most often she’s writing poetry but has been known to flirt with fiction from time to time and has even been seen having coffee with a few non-fiction essays. Her work is vulnerable and unflinching. Combining the intimacy of a whisper and the nonchalance of a bus station confession (with a helping of humor), she tells stories that examine gender, race, relationships and the minutia of life in a way that invites the reader to come in, pull up a chair, and stay awhile.
The Over a Quick Cup of Coffee Version
Nicole Homer has been writing for as long as she can remember – everything from poetry to short stories to creative non-fiction – and for almost as long she’s been a little bit in love with explaining things. These two semi-obsessions led her to be a nationally respected performance poet and a teacher.
Nicole started slamming in 2005 at LoserSlam (NJ) and Urbana (NY). She quickly earned her spot on a team and, in 2006, started competing at the national level. She’s been everything from a wide-eyed participant to a semi-finalist to a finalist in both team and individual slams in the National Poetry Slam, the Individual World Poetry Slam, and the Women of the World Poetry Slam.
Locally, she organized LoserSlam, New Jersey’s longest running slam until 2016, and was on the governing body of NYC-Urbana, a nationally respected venue, for the better part of a decade. As part of the LoserSlam community, Nicole facilitated a women’s writing group, writing workshops, and has a commitment to encouraging a diverse and inclusive community. .
Nicole challenges the notion that poets are either organizers or performers. She saw stages from Baton Rouge to Berkeley and back again in 2008 as one half of the Wonder Twin tour. Since then, she has accepted select features as she finished her graduate studies and pursued her teaching career. Essentially, Nicole is a geek without stage fright and with a lot of stories to tell.
She thinks that it is amazing that she earns her keep by being a nerd. She’d love to explain MLA formatting to you or show you her Star Trek pez dispenser or read you a love poem about dead deer. She has an academic litcrush on John Irving and would gladly talk to you for hours about the way his plots ooze grotesqueness.
Also, power tools. Nicole loves power tools.
The Pull Up a Chair version
When Nicole Homer stumbled into an open mic in the back corner of a Barnes and Noble at age 16, she stood transfixed. Every Sunday night for the next year she was there reading and listening. It was here that she began to understand how the act of writing, therapeutic on its own, was intensified when the words were read out loud. She was more than a little heartbroken when that open mic stopped, but she kept writing.
Several years later a friend took her to a monthly poetry show called LoserSlam. The first month, ever the observer, she only listened. At the next show, though, she was ready for more: the slam. This competition, a cleverly disguised way to get audiences enthusiastic about poetry, sunk its teeth into her. She’s been involved in slam ever since.
In 2006, Nicole competed in her first ever National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas as a member of the LoserSlam team. In Vancouver, in 2007, while competing in her first solo national competition, she placed in the top 10 poets in the Individual World poetry slam. In 2008, she was a finalist in both Boston’s NorthBeast slam, as a solo performer and, as part of a team, the National Group Piece poetry slam in Wisconsin. She has also been a regular competitor in the Women of the World poetry slam, reaching final stage in both 2008 (Detroit) and 2010 (Ohio).
Nicole has not been satisfied with simply competing. Instead, she’s embraced the slam community that has been so good to her. From 2007 until 2014, she was an active member of the NYC-Urbana committee helping to curate the Urbana Slam and reading series. This work was in addition to the organizational work she has did for LoserSlam from 2009 until 2016.
But Nicole, ever motivated, has been busy during all this slamming. Since as long as she can remember, Nicole has worked full-time and gone to school full-time. She’s been lucky in that way; what could have been a recipe for burnout led her to her calling.
Nicole worked as a Massage Therapist to put herself through community college. She figured it was interesting and challenging work that forced her to use her problem-solving skills… and the hours were good. Fate is a funny thing though. After a few years of practicing Massage Therapy, Nicole was able to teach the subject at a vocational school as she worked her way towards a B.A. in English. In her classroom, she felt as if she was exactly where she was supposed to be. Her students varied in age, gender, and educational level; it mirrored her experience as community college student. The ideas of diversity and of accessibility sparked her decision to pursue a career in higher education.
Since her first and true love, in and out of the classroom, is writing and writers, she earned her M.A. in English Literature from Seton Hall University. She then earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Rutgers-Newark. In addition to her position as an Assistant Professor of English, she uses her teaching experience to facilitate workshops for creative-types and would-be creative-types of all ages. She uses her performance background to tour and read and meet new people and trick her students into liking poetry and literature.
She’s using all that new-fangled poetry stuff to share her worldview so you can look her up in places like Not a Muse: The Inner Lives of Women (New Haven Press, 2009) and His Rib: Poems, Stories & Essays By Her (Penmanship Books, 2007), Knocking at the Door: Approaching the Other (Birch Bench Press, 2011) Aim For the Head (Write Bloody, 2011) and on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Podcast (performancepoetry.indiefeed.com).
So basically, Nicole Homer likes to write and currently lives in New Jersey where she makes wallets out of duct tape and counts deer (dead and alive) on her daily commute.
*If I'm reading poems for/ to you and you need an introduction, you can use anything here.