Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of the novel The Wrong Kind of Indian by Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing. She’s also the author of six collections of poetry including the forthcoming Savagery by Airlie Press, the forthcoming Constellations of My Body by Musehick Publications, Secret-Telling Bones by The Operating System, as well as Orygun, What Makes an Always (an Eric Hoffer Book Award honorable mention), and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo by Tayen Lane Publishing. Jessica authored the business book 100 Ways to Make $100k with Your English Degree, which has been featured on numerous podcasts including JenningsWire and World Outsourcing Solutions.
She’s received several writer-in-residency posts around the world, including the Hosking Houses Trust with an appointment at The Shakespeare Birthplace (Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK), Paris Lit Up (Paris, France), the Women’s International Study Center (WISC) Acequia Madre House post (Santa Fe, NM), and a Writer in the Schools (WITS) residency at Literary Arts (Portland, OR).
Jessica is the recipient of a 40 Under 40 Award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), received a Barbara Deming Award in Poetry, and was a Top 10 Pick from Portland Story Theatre for “Indian Burns.” She serves as the President of the Board of Directors for VoiceCatcher journal and non-profit. Jessica has led writing workshops around the globe including at the International Women’s Writing Guild summer conference series, and has taught poetry at various institutions including The Loft Literary Center.
Jessica founded MehtaFor (www.mehtafor.com), a writing services company, in 2012 which serves a variety of clients including Fortune 500 enterprises and major media outlets. MehtaFor received two national bronze awards for Startup of the Year in 2015. Jessica offers complimentary writing services to Native American students and non-profits based in the Pacific Northwest and/or serving Native communities.
She received her master’s degree in writing from Portland State University in 2007, and established The Jessica Tyner Scholarship Fund in 2013. It’s the only scholarship exclusively for Native Americans pursuing an advanced degree in writing or a related field.
Jessica is also a registered yoga instructor (RYT), NASM-certified personal trainer (CPT), and continues to advance her yoga teacher-ship at The Bhaktishop in Portland. She founded the Get it Ohm! karma yoga and strength movement (www.getitohm.com), which offers free classes to groups that don’t have access to traditional yoga studios and/or don’t feel comfortable in such environments.