Jo Pitkin is a native of Somers, New York. She received a BA from Kirkland College—a progressive women's college that pioneered the undergraduate degree in creative writing—and an MFA in poetry from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. For the past 30 years, she has earned a living as a freelance writer for educational publishers throughout the United States and is the credited author of more than 40 books for K through Grade 12 students. She is the author of Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York (The History Press), Commonplace Invasions (Salmon Poetry), and the forthcoming Rendering (Salmon Poetry, 2017). She is also the editor of Lost Orchard: Prose and Poetry from the Kirkland College Community (SUNY Press). Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including The New York Review of Books, Little Star, Salamander, Stone Canoe, A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace. After living in Cambridge and Arlington for 15 years, she returned to New York's Hudson River Valley, where she initiated the first literary reading series and first poetry book group in the village where she lives.