Samantha Bise is a poet living in Pennsylvania. Most of her writing focuses on community issues, like homelessness, poverty, incarceration, the opioid epidemic, mental illness, and education. Her poetry has been published in books and digital anthologies, been performed at local events, and received awards. In addition to her writing, Samantha is a college librarian, instructor of English, GED math teacher, and volunteers with various organizations in her community. Above all else, she believes in education, giving back to community, and the importance of sharing our truths with each other.
Samantha has been a writer since she was able to hold a crayon in her hand, but she didn’t begin to find her own voice as a poet until she was an undergraduate student, when she earned her bachelor’s degree in English professional writing and found herself signing up for African American poetry classes. She was amazed by voices like Jupiter Hammon, Phillis Wheatley, and Langston Hughes–proof that story-sharing and revolution are not mutually exclusive; proof that using your voice, no matter the consequences, can make a difference for a generation. She found a deep appreciation for the power that reading, writing, and learning had over somebody’s freedom–if not their physical freedom, their intellectual freedom. This led to Samantha earning her master’s degree in library and information science and becoming a college librarian, so she could dedicate her career to teaching, providing access to educational opportunities for vulnerable populations, and creating learning communities for students to use their own voices productively.