Jones College grad publishes poetry book while writing another

ELLISVILLE – Ellisville native, Hannah V. Warren has accomplished a lot of her academic and personal goals since she graduated from Jones College in 2014, including publishing her first poetry book, “Slaughterhouse for Old Wives’ Tales.” Published by Sundress Publications in January 2024, the full-length poetry book includes memories of Jones County. She explains how her home “bleeds” through the pages.

“As a woman who grew up in Mississippi, I have a complicated relationship with the Deep South, and these poems embody my struggle with gendered expectations of women,” Warren shared. “I never quite felt like I followed the path other people wanted for me, and I held a gentle resentment for this estrangement.”

The Fulbright scholar earned her Ph.D. in literature from the University of Georgia in May 2024, and her Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Kansas in 2018. A year later, Dr. Warren won the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest with her poetry chapbook, “[re]construction of the necromancer,” and she authored Southern Gothic Corpse Machine (Carrion Bloom) in 2022. Over the last two years, research for her new book has led her to the famous Black Forest of Germany and throughout Europe.

“I’m grateful to have spent my last two years in and out of Europe pursuing my degree and writing projects. My research took me to graveyards, museums, libraries, and forests in Germany, France, Italy, England, Scotland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark. It’s been a whirlwind, and it feels nice to settle back in the American South for a moment. Humid breath in, humid breath out,” said Warren.

While in Kansas earning her MFA degree, she taught college creative writing and wrote a lot about the Midwestern prairie, other people’s histories, and mountains. “It wasn’t until I moved back South to Georgia that I started composing my own story, my own Southern Gothic. Slaughterhouse is a testament to this shift.” However, she admits, “Regardless of where I go, or how long I spend away, the pine trees feel like home. I’ve accepted that I can live in a liminal space between belonging and non-belonging, ownership and distance.”

Jones College, Rho Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa 2014 Officers are pictured seated in the front row, left to righ, Lewis Bateman-Regional President; Hannah Pruitt-Director of Project Submission; Zack Warren-Director of College Project & Information Technology; Karie Mooney-PTK member and award winner and Patrick Campbell-Chapter President. Pictured standing in the back, left to right is PTK Advisor, Julie Atwood; Kristen Hallman-Director of Chapter Meetings & Coordinator of Service; Kaylie Bradshaw-Director of Honors in Action; Tera Busby-Secretary; Skylar Dailey-Director of Campus Activities and Gwen Magee-PTK Advisor.

After graduating from South Jones High School, the young lady with big dreams and goals worked in the Belk department store while she earned her Associate Degree in English at JCJC. She managed to juggle her roles and responsibilities with ease as a 4.0 student and as the Director of Project Submission for the International Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa. Warren’s work earned her the HEADWAE honor, representing JCJC students at the legislative luncheon honoring education, educators and the top college students.

Hannah & Gwen Magee

Then, her PTK peers awarded her the Order of the Golden Key at the Regional Conference for her exceptional work as Director of Project Submission and as a student. Additionally, her fellow PTK officers were recognized as a Top 30 Distinguished Chapter Officer Team and Most Distinguished Officer Team and Rho Sigma Chapter was awarded the Top 10 College Project Award. Fondly, she recalls her many conversations with PTK Advisors, Julie Atwood and Gwen Magee and credits them for being a pivotal part of her personal, educational, and professional growth.

“Jones was the first place where I felt I could take ownership of my own intellectual goals. Before, I felt like I’d been following someone else. My PTK advisors, Gwen Magee and Julie Atwood pushed me to find new opportunities for the future. My favorite memories at Jones include sitting in their offices between classes and chatting about the next PTK goal. I felt heard and seen, which meant the world to me,” shared Hannah.

Last summer, when students from Jones College’s Charles Pickering Honors Institute were visiting Strasbourg, France, Warren lived in the German Black Forest, only a brief train ride away. She had the opportunity to meet the group for dinner and enjoyed recounting warm memories from her time as a JC student.

While working on her Ph.D., she explained her writing was heavily theoretical, and this theory informs her poetry. She now reports it feels delightful to stretch outside the confines of an academic end goal post-graduation.

“I’m finishing final edits on a new poetry book that compares my experiences with the Southern Gothic to my experiences with the German Gothic while I lived in Germany. If you could take an abandoned white church in Mississippi and combine it with the Cathedral in Freiburg im Breisgau, the poetry looks something like that hybridity. Decay, monstrous figures, a few hauntings,” said Warren.

Other projects in the works include writing about what it means to be a woman who backpacks alone in the backcountry for days or weeks at a time. “For me, the most exciting part of writing a book is feeling it turn into an object, rather than just an idea when it becomes a living document outside of yourself,” she said.

Currently, the poet, storyteller and speculative literature scholar is teaching public writing workshops for adults through different writing organizations across the country and she’s gearing up for a long book tour. She’ll be at the Mississippi Book Festival in September, reading from her book.  

Zack & Dr. Hannah Warren

Personally, Dr. Warren has been married to her high school sweetheart, Zack Warren since 2015. He was the Valedictorian, and she was the Salutatorian at South Jones. Both are thriving in their careers with Zack working at Holland & Knight, an Am Law 30 firm as the Information Governance Manager.

“We thrive in polar opposite worlds. I love that our days never look similar. When we have difficult tasks or problems at work, the other person brings an entirely fresh, outsider perspective,” she shared.

Both Warrens have enjoyed attending the same paths for their higher education with one lady who has cheered them on from her professional role at Jones College and from afar, when Hannah and Zack both attended Mississippi State University and beyond.

Hannah & Bonnie Warren

“I often tell Zack I won the mother-in-law lottery. Bonnie (who has worked at JC for 45 years) has been incredibly supportive of us both as we pursue our goals, wherever those may take us. I think she was the most delighted of everyone when I got the Fulbright, not least because she spoke dreamily of a multi-country European vacation. Wish granted-she herded us like sheep in Venice when Zack and I had too much limoncello and nearly drowned in the canals,” Hannah recounted laughing.

More information about Dr. Warren’s literary works can be found on her website,