Author Bio

Short Bio (45 words)

Iris Madelyn is a poet and workshop facilitator from Chicago. She hosts Poetry & Ritual, an annual retreat in northern Illinois where participants combine contemplative writing with self-care rituals to create a practice for spiritual growth. You can read more of her work at IrisMadelyn[dot]com.


Long Bio (175 words)

Iris Madelyn is a poet whose work ranges from performance poetry and spoken word, to the lyric essay and personal story. She facilitates poetry and ritual performance workshops with a focus on healing and spiritual growth.

Madelyn’s work is informed by her own journey of healing after more than a decade in the U.S. Marines. She works with women’s groups, social justice organizations, and with military veterans combining the therapeutic effects of writing and performance.

Her work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune; Arts & Healing Network; Journal of Military Experience & the Arts; National Veterans Art Museum; and Voice of Art, a documentary series on Pharrell Williams’ popular I Am Other YouTube channel. She is a regular speaker on issues of war and peace as an advocate of veterans’ mental health.

Madelyn is currently working on her first book, a memoir in verse. When she’s not writing or teaching, you can find her in the woods of northern Illinois where there are more trees than cars. You can visit her online at IrisMadelyn[dot]com.

As featured onas featured on image bw

Press Photos


iris reading

FB Page image Iris 2

Recent Projects and Collaborations


  • Writing Workshop Facilitator for Warrior Writers – a U.S. nonprofit arts organization supporting military veterans in creative writing and publishing.
  • Co-Creator of Women at War – a collaborative theater project that brought together women veterans from around the Chicagoland area to tell their stories of military service. These stories were then developed into an award-winning performance by the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble.
  • Founding Member and Program Manager of VetCAT: A Veterans Creative Arts Therapy Program – a therapy service which provides military veterans with free art therapy, expressive writing, and dance/movement therapy programming.
  • Editorial Team Member for Remaking Sense – an anthology of writing and poetry from veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
  • Opening Reception and Artist Talks for Overlooked / Looked Over at National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago
  • Military Experience & the Arts, (un)clothed and in her right mind, print and online gallery

Press Mentions

Press Release – Women veterans purge military uniforms and memories to create a work of art
Press Release – Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to honor Chicago woman as its March ‘Veteran of the Month’
Chicago Tribune – Women veterans use art to process their time in the military
People’s World – Overlooked and looked over: women veterans tell their story

Favorite Quotes

Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes.”– Maggie Kuhn

The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind; …if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.” – Terence McKenna


Expressive Writing for Healing
Storytelling and Social Change
Poetry and Ritual as Self-Care
Military Veterans in the Arts


To schedule an interview or invite to your event, please use the following contact information:

email: Iris[at]IrisMadelyn[dot]com
voicemail: (872) 52-words or 872-529-6737

Or use the contact form below.

Download a Press Kit here.