Ms. Gianna Russo

Florida, United States

Member Since: 06/11/2018

Gianna Russo is a poet, writer, editor and teacher.  She is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Moonflower (Kitsune Books, 2011), winner of a Florida Book Awards bronze medal, Florida Publishers Association Presidents’ Award silver medal, and an Eric Hofer First Horizons finalist award. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks, Blue Slumber (YellowJacket Press, 2005) and The Companion of Joy (Green Rabbit Press, 2014), based on the artwork of Vermeer.

 A Pushcart Prize nominee, Ms. Russo has published poems in Green Mountains Review, Italiana Americana, Crab Orchard Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, Apalachee Review, Florida Review, Tampa Review, Ekphrasis, Florida Humanities Council Forum, Karamu, The Bloomsbury Review, saw palm, The MacGuffin, and Calyx, among others.  Her creative nonfiction has appeared in saw palm and the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times). In her first stab at fiction, she contributed a chapter to the collaborative novel 15 Views of Tampa Bay, published serially on the website of Barrow Street Press in 2013.  

 Ms. Russo is founding editor of YellowJacket Press, Florida’s premier publisher of poetry chapbook manuscripts, for which she won a 2011 Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Award. Along with teaching at Saint Leo University, she serves as Editor-in Chief of Sandhill Review, the University’s literary magazine, and as founding director of the Sandhill Writers Retreat. She also serves on the board of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition.

 When not teaching, writing or supporting other writers, Ms. Russo enjoys cooking, organic gardening, travel, reading, dancing and life with family and friends.  She is the mother of two grown sons and lives in Tampa with her husband and their cat.







  • Moonflower (full-length poetry collection) , Kitsune Books (February 1, 2011)
  • The Companion of Joy (chapbook) , Green Rabbit Press (February 1, 2014)


  • Florida Book Award Bronze medal(2012)
  • Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver medal (2011)
  • AWP Intro Journals Project Honorable Mention, (2015)
  • Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Local Poet award(2017)


  • Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Leo University (August 2011 - )
  • Founding Editor at YellowJacket Press (August 2005 - )


  • Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from The University of Tampa (August 2017)
  • Master of Arts in English from University of South Florida (December 1983)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with specializations in Women's Studies and Psychology from University of South Florida (May 1978)

Genres of Interest

Creative nonfiction, Poetry