Monday, June 11, 2012

Jehanne Dubrow Named Director of Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College

Jehanne Dubrow with Argos. Photo by Jeremy Schaub. 

No longer just an interim position for the
 acclaimed poet and professor. 

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Award-winning poet Jehanne Dubrow, originally appointed to a two-year interim term as director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, has officially been named director in full.

In making the announcement, English Department Chair Kathryn Moncrief described Dubrow as “an unusually prolific and well-published poet who is a rising star in the literary world.  Jehanne’s national reputation as a writer, her scholarly and creative energy, her teaching ability, and her administrative skills combine to make her an ideal choice as Director of the Literary House,” she added.   

Dubrow, who teaches creative writing and literature at the College, has produced four full-length volumes of poetry. Her newest collection, Red Army Red, is due out from Northwestern University Press in October of this year.  Her 2010 collection, Stateside, is based on her experiences as a military wife, or “milspouse” (her husband, Jeremy, is an officer in the U.S. Navy). Earlier work includes two poetry collections, From the Fever World and The Hardship Post, and a chapbook titled The Promised Bride. Excerpts of From from the Fever World were recently set to music in a song cycle by Polish composer Joanna Bruzdowicz.

She has been a recipient of the 2012 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the 2012 Towson University Prize for Literature, an Individual Artist’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship and Howard Nemerov Poetry Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Sosland Foundation Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

The daughter of U.S. diplomats, Dubrow was born in Italy and grew up in posts around the globe, including Poland, Austria and Zaire. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College, then completed a master’s in creative writing at the University of Maryland and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dubrow’s poems, creative nonfiction and book reviews have appeared in journals such as The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, The New England Review, Barrow Street, Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Shenandoah and Prairie Schooner. She also blogs about the writing life at “Notes from the Gefilte Review.”

In accepting the interim post last year, Dubrow said she wanted students to view the Lit House as both a fun gathering place and a space where they  can practice and develop the skills, behaviors and strategies of professional writers. She also aims to bring to campus, more emerging artists, “writers who have already built impressive careers but who are also young enough to connect with and inspire our undergraduates.”

The Literary House was founded in 1970. It moved to its present location at 407 Washington Avenue in the mid-1980s after a generous gift from Mrs. Betty Brown Casey ’47 and her husband Eugene B. Casey helped the College purchase and renovate the building. The House is named in honor of Eugene Casey’s mother, Rose O’Neill Casey.

Professor Bob Day directed the Lit House until his retirement in 1997. Since then, it has been led by Professor Robert Mooney (1997-2005), novelist Benjamin Anastas (interim, 2005-06), historian Joshua Wolf Shenk (2006-2009) and documentary poet Mark Nowak (2009-2011). For more on the Literary House: