Jessica Reidy (they/she) is a New Hampshire based writer, editor, and educator. They are co-host of Romanistan Podcast with Paulina Verminski, a podcast about Romani culture. They are the winner of the Penelope Nivens award for Creative nonfiction, and their work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Narrative Magazine as Short Story of the Week, Prairie Schooner as a Glenna Luschei prize winner, The Kenyon Review online, Luna Luna Magazine, and other journals. They are mixed Romani (aka “Gypsy”) and read tarot, tea leaves, and palms in their family tradition under the name Jezmina Von Thiele.
A word about the word “Gypsy”
The word “Gypsy” is a racial slur that refers to the Romani, a diasporic ethnic group originally from India circa the 10th century. The word conjures stereotypes, of criminality, hypersexualization, etc., for example, “gypped” to mean “cheated.” Some Romani folks, like my maternal grandmother, use the word to refer to themselves, and some feel strongly about not using it. In general, best practice is for non-Romani people not to use/ or appropriate the word, and Romani people can use it or not. In that same vein, it’s not ok for non-Romani companies or brands to use this word. It is like any other racial slur, and it should not be used or appropriated, even if you think it’s pretty.
Teaching, Editing, & Writing
I am available to lecture, teach workshops and retreats, give talks, and other seminars online or in-person. I am open to solicited essays, poems, stories, and articles. I also offer editing services for creative projects.
Photography: Top photo by Aurora Rose, Auroraandjohn.com