Gigi Thibodeau is the 2009 Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Southern Maine and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She has been an adjunct instructor at UMass Lowell since 2001.
Her writing has appeared in "River Styx," "Georgia State University Review," "Birmingham Poetry Review," "Louisiana Literature," "Soundings East," "Mudfish," and the Australian anthology "Going Down Swinging," among several other publications. A poetry editor for "Newport Review," in 2007 she also coedited "Where the Road Begins," an anthology published by the Cultural Organization of Lowell with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac’s "On the Road."
She was a co-founder and a former co-organizer of the Urban Village Arts Series, a popular monthly performing-arts show in downtown Lowell. In 2008, she produced a live CD of the series in collaboration with several community and university groups.
This spring she collaborated with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Greater Lowell on “The Poetry of Home,” a student poetry reading and anthology in celebration of the VNA’s 100th anniversary. Her poetry manuscript, "Learning to Tell Time," won the Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest and is being published by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has received many awards and grants for both her writing and her community work, including the Judith Seigel Pearson Award for Fiction from Wayne State University. In April 2009, "Mid-American Review" published her poem “Ouija-Board Rules,” and was selected as a finalist for the 2009 James Wright Poetry Award.
Thibodeau said, "My time as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence afforded me the opportunity to complete a manuscript and make significant progress on a new book project. I also was able to collaborate with community members from the Visiting Nurse Association and UMass Lowell students on a public performance of students' work, a program for which we received a grant from the Lowell Cultural Council. In addition to giving me the chance to work with bright, enthusiastic students, the residency offered me the gift of time, and for a writer, there is nothing more precious than that."