An outdoor guide-turned-writer, Jenny O’Connell’s work examines a woman’s place in wilderness, how nature shapes the ways we live and die, the disappearance of wild spaces, and the impulse to adventure. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, SLICE, Camas, The Stonecoast Review, and Wanderlust, and was featured in the Maine island art installation Surface First Tilts West. Her current book project, Finding Petronella, follows her solo trek across Finland in the footsteps of a woman legendary among the gold miners of Lapland. In 2016, she edited the King Fellows Anthology, Not An Apology—a body of work by student activists exploring issues of race and identity in Portland, Maine. Jenny recently finished a six-month artist’s residency at the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, and was a 2017 staff member and artist in residence at Chulitna Lodge Research Institute in remote Alaska. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast.
Jenny serves as Stonecoast MFA’s Community Outreach Coordinator and mentors young writers as a Teaching Artist at The Telling Room. When she is not writing, she can be found guiding wilderness and international adventure trips, playing music and competitive Ultimate Frisbee, and coordinating flash mobs around the country. She lives in Portland, Maine with her sister and a fridge full of extra sharp cheddar cheese.