Poet Jillian Hanesworth

'The revolution will be led by Black women who are just tired enough to do it ourselves.'

Welcome to my revolution! I am a spoken word artist from Buffalo, NY, and the first poet laureate of Buffalo! I truly believe in the power of art and the power of the people. Those beliefs combined, embodies my art and my heart. Everything I do is for the people, and for the culture.



Jillian Hanesworth was born and raised on the East side of Buffalo, NY. She began writing at the age of 7, when she would write songs for her mother to sing in church. She later took a break from writing to successfully pursue educational goals, and worked to obtain a BA in criminal justice and law focusing on reform.
In January of 2017, Jillian committed herself to social change through art, thus began her poetry career. Since then, Jillian has performed over 130 times, in Buffalo, NY, NYC, Baltimore, MD, Toronto, and everywhere in between. She has let her passion lead her mission empower listeners to take part in demanding and creating sustainable systemic change.
Currently, Jillian is the Director of Leadership Development at Open Buffalo, a teaching artist with the Dunbar Project at Ujima Theater, and an adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center. Jillian is also the first ever Poet Laureate in the history of Buffalo after she spent 2 years advocating for the existence of the role. Jillian loves and lives for the community and exemplifies that in all that she does.

Image by Nick Nice

"The important thing is that you’re true to yourself because you have got something to give to the world that nobody in the whole world can give. We ain't talkin' about Jill Scott, we talkin’ about Jill Hanesworth."

- Dr. Cornel West


Contact Me

Buffalo, NY


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