Recently named the 2023 Montgomery County Poet Laureate, Jenny Burkholder is a writer, teacher, and breast cancer advocate who lives and works in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Her poetry chapbook, Repaired, was published by Finishing Line Press, and her poems have been published in North American Review, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, The Maine Review, New American Writing, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Glimmer Train, among others. Her creative nonfiction and articles have been published in Epiphany, The Healing Muse, and So to Speak, among others. She is on the creative nonfiction board for Philadelphia Stories. Her awards include an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, the Glimmer Train October Poetry Open award, and a finalist for The James Hearst Poetry Prize. She's an active volunteer for Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and an LBBC Hear My Voice Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocate. She teaches and practices yoga at Blue Banyan Yoga Studio & School in Philadelphia.
Overexpressed is a tribute to her "wildly HER2 positive" metastatic breast cancer. Diagnosed right after her 40th birthday dance party with early-stage breast cancer, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer right before the party on December 31, 2019.
Overexpressed not only describes the physiological function of her particular breast cancer, it also describes her life: live uninhibited; pay homage to women, writers, and language she admires; and tell her story.
Photo: John Flak / Photo: a histological image of HER2 overexpression