Jennifer L. Hollis is a writer and music-thanatologist. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Rumpus, Harvard Review, Jellyfish Review and other publications.
She is the author of Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage (Praeger) and a contributor to Religion and Healing in America (University of Oxford Press). She researched and wrote “How Faith Communities Facilitate Conversations Around End-of-Life Concerns,” an issue brief for The Pew Charitable Trusts, along with a series of Q&As with faith leaders.
Poet Maggie Smith selected “One Way to Disappear” for the 2019 Crossroads International Contest. She was the 2018 winner of the Atlantis Award from The Poet’s Billow. She was a finalist for Breakwater Review’s Peseroff Prize for Poetry, Atlanta Review’s International Publication Prize, and Public Poetry’s ENOUGH contest. Her poems been published in Cagibi, The Dewdrop, and Crosswinds Poetry Journal.
For twenty years, she has been a certified music-thanatologist, offering harp and vocal music to patients at the end of life in Montana, Oregon, Chicago, and Boston. From 2006-2012 she was the president of the Music-Thanatology Association International. Stories about her work have appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition, the Boston Globe and several podcasts.
In April 2020, she helped found Harps of Comfort with a group of harpists, to provide virtual music sessions to isolated COVID-19 patients, their loved ones, and front line caregivers.
She has a degree in child development from Connecticut College and a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School.