Mendocino County Poet Jasper Henderson

Mendocino County Poet Jasper Henderson

     On Thursday, November 15, at 7:00pm The Third Thursday Poetry & Jazz Reading Series at 215 Main in Point Arena will feature Fort Bragg Jasper Henderson. The reading will begin with live improv jazz, followed by an open mic with jazz improv; the reading will conclude with our featured poet and more live improv jazz.

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     Jasper Henderson is a writer of poetry and fiction based out of the Mendocino Coast. His short stories have been published in Joyland, Juked, Permasummer, and Golden State 2017: The Best New Writing From California. His poetry has appeared in the Mendocino Poets in the Schools 2017 anthology and Noyo River Review. Currently he is working on a mythic poem cycle, a series of short stories about different writers, and a post-apocalyptic novel.

     He also teaches creative writing, through the California Poets in the Schools writer's residency program. Over the last four years he has led poetry courses at three different schools for students at many different levels of skill. In his work at Dana Gray Elementary School in Fort Bragg, Jasper works alongside Karen Lewis to reach every student in the school for a series of workshops. At the end of the school year, he edits and publishes an anthology of the best student poems from that school. At the high school level, Jasper teaches at Fort Bragg and Mendocino High Schools. He also helps to coach poetry slam, the event at which Jasper won Best Overall his senior year of high school.

     Jasper has lectured on creative writing at UCLA and at Wesleyan College, through its Center for Pedagogical Innovation. Jasper also works as a writing tutor through Signet Education, helping students outline, draft, and revise their essays and stories into polished pieces of writing.

     Jasper is a degree candidate in the MFA program in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles, where he holds a Creative Writing Fellowship. He earned a BA in Slavic Languages and Literature from Harvard College in 2012, receiving departmental honors for his prize-winning senior thesis.  

     Jasper grew up on the Mendocino Coast, and he still lives here most of the year.  He enjoys hiking, Kung Fu, playing basketball, watching baseball, and cooking. His cat is named Sybil, after the sibilant, favorite sound of cats across the galaxy.




Third Thursday Poetry & Jazz is supported by The Third Thursday Poetry Group, many anonymous donors, and Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation.

Note: Below is a sample of Jasper Henderson's poetry.


Suicide Risk Adam by Jasper Henderson

in Eden the vining roses are uncut I’m not talking about Adam’s prick

sweet flower though it is to hear Eve tell it

everything is choking everything biology calls this succession this

vine choking tree choking bush choking bloom Adam has his hand

in a honeypot again I’m talking about a beehive

sticky-sweet viscid to his elbow bastard

beeswarm cannot sting God does defense mechanism tomorrow

for now Adam licks gold glue off dirty arm till he gets bored and

some gets stuck in pubes and fig leaf fixes there they’re

not permitted sharp objects suicide risk Adam has to bite the stems

to bring Eve bouquet without vase the flowers wilt and wither

the serpent a tired deputy discharges two public nuisancers on 

Fillmore and Polk

at 2 AM Tuesday somehow they survive and their great-grandchildren

mutilate each other’s genitals and someone invents cloth roses and

everything still chokes everything poets call this creation





Ocean Sunfish—Mola Mola

Ocean Sunfish—Mola Mola