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Ann E. Wallace, PhD is the 2023-24 Poet Laureate of Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a poet, essayist, and public speaker who has written and spoken widely about her experience with Long COVID. She has lived a life of illness, from ovarian cancer in her twenties, to a multiple sclerosis diagnosis before age 40, to marking her 50th birthday in 2020 with a severe case of COVID from which she has spent more than two years recovering.


Pain, disability, and disease have inspired and informed her work over the past three decades as a poet, essayist, memoir writer, and literary scholar of illness narratives and trauma studies. Her work has appeared in a wide range of venues, including dozens of literary journals, popular media including Huffington Post and USA Today, and academic journals and collections.


She is currently working on a memoir on the experience of living through--and in spite of--multiple serious diseases and illnesses over the past three decades, and has recently completed a new poetry manuscript. Days of Grace and Silence is a collection of poetry written over three years, beginning when Wallace was sick with severe acute COVID and taking the reader through the long journey of recovery. More than thirty poems in the collection have previously been published in literary journals, including Wordgathering, Halfway Down the Stairs, MockingHeart Review, Red Eft Review, Coffin Bell Journal, Clementine Unbound, Eunoia Review, New Verse News, and Stirring


Wallace’s first collection of poetry, Counting by Sevens (Main Street Rag, 2019), is a reflection on motherhood, illness, and contemporary life in America. 

Wallace is Professor of English at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ where she lives with her two daughters Molly (18) and Abigail (15). She is founder and former Board Chair of The Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City and currently serves on the Board of HuntersWorld, a teen peer mentoring program that provide teens with a place and the tools to talk about their emotions and mental health.


She served as founding Vice President of the COVID-19 Longhauler Advocacy Project and is a patient representative with the NIH RECOVER Initiative studying the sequelae of COVID-19 in adults and children. She has published widely—popular essays, poetry, academic articles—and had numerous national media appearances regarding long COVID, including on Good Morning, America, Fox News Rundown, DailyMail TV, NBC LX, CBS News,NPR. She also appears in the award-winning film Long Haul created by Dr. Noah Greenspan and the Pulmonary Wellness Foundation (2021).

In her academic scholarship, Wallace specializes in illness narratives, the rhetoric of health and medicine, traumatic memory and community formation, as well as composition theory -- including the overlaps between teaching college writing and inviting students to bear witness to the world around them. She was invited to write the lead essay, “Long-Haul Writing: Creating Community Amid Crises” on teaching while sick in the early months of the pandemic in a new collection, Literacy and Learning in Times of Crisis: Emergent Teaching Through Emergencies (Peter Lang 2022). Her essay "Quarantined Voices: On the Transformative Impact of COVID Narratives at a Time of Crisis" was published in On_Culture (summer 2021). Her work has also appeared in Women’s Health Advocacy: Rhetorical Ingenuity for the 21st Century (Routledge, 2019); Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy; Come Weep with Me: Loss and Mourning in the Writings of Caribbean Women Writers (Cambridge, 2007The Fiction Of Toni Morrison: Reading and Writing on Race, Culture, and Identity (NCTE, 2007).


Wallace grew up in a large family in a waterfront town in Massachusetts, and then migrated to New Jersey to study art in college and never left. She completed a Masters in Women's Studies at Rutgers University and her doctorate in English at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York.


Wallace’s published work, media appearances, and selected author talks can also be found here and on She is a SheSource Expert with the Women’s Media Center and can also be found on Poets & Writers. Follow her online on Twitter @AnnWallacePhD and on Instagram @AnnWallace409.

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