Place of birth
Trinidad and Tobago
Place of residence
United States of America
National identity
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America

Samantha Thornhill

Short biography
Samantha Thornhill is a globally-traveled poet, educator and children’s author from the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. After graduating with an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia, Samantha served for a decade as poetry professor at The Juilliard School in New York City. The author of almost a dozen children's books, Samantha's debut poetry collection, The Animated Universe, will be published by Peepal Tree Press in 2022.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Samantha Thornhill immigrated to the US and became drawn to the writing craft as a youth. In 2002, she received a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Florida State University and in 2004 obtained a Masters of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Virginia. During that era, Samantha joined the spoken word and poetry slam movements, produced three poetry albums, and performed her work at arts festivals and university events around the nation. After graduation, Samantha relocated to New York City where she seeded her career as a children’s author, global performer and teaching artist. For a decade she lived in Brooklyn and taught a poetry and performance course to actors in training at the Juilliard School. She also taught creative writing for Poets & Writers, Bronx Academy of Letters, City School of the Arts, and Cooper Union’s Saturday program and more. Getting awarded with the Jerome Hill Travel Grant as well as a Fund for Teachers Travel Grant permitted Samantha to journey to the Caribbean and Cuba for writing and teaching research. She has delivered electrifying performances of her work across North America, Africa, and Europe. Samantha has been awarded writing residences  with Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Soul Mountain, and Furious Flower Poetry Center. Featured in the New York Times for their surprise poetry curations in public settings, Poetry In Unexpected Places, an organization of Samantha’s co-creation, sought to introduce poetry into non-traditional environments. Samantha has written over a dozen children’s books for Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Lee & Low, Penny Candy, and Heineman, and has received starred reviews in Booklist, Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. She has published individual poems in dozens of print and digital publications, including World Literature Today, Ms. Magazine, The Breakbeat Poets: The New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, and African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song. The Animated Universe is her debut poetry collection.