Jehanne Dubrow
September 2015

[image Jehanne Dubrow]Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, including most recently The Arranged Marriage (University of New Mexico Press, 2015), Red Army Red (Northwestern UP, 2012), and Stateside (Northwestern UP, 2010). She has been a recipient of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the 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. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and book reviews have appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, and on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She serves as the Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and is an Associate Professor in creative writing at Washington College, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she also edits the national literary journal, Cherry Tree.

Statement of Poetics

Years ago, a creative writing professor told me that if I kept writing about loneliness my poems would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps. But I would say we don’t choose what Richard Hugo calls our triggering towns, the landscapes of our imagination, which serve as perpetual source or inspiration. My geography has people in it, although perhaps they struggle to speak to one another. Language is a wall, culture too, and memory. I have written my nomadic childhood in places like Yugoslavia, Zaire, Poland, Belgium, Austria, and the United States. I have written in the voice of an imaginary Yiddish poet. I have written my marriage to a career military officer. I have written my adolescence behind the Iron Curtain, in the final days of the Cold War. And I have written my mother’s experiences of trauma, different varieties of forced intimacy and closeness in a Honduras and El Salvador of the 1950s and 60s. My poems travel, but they remain in the same country of seclusion. If other people are always a mystery—and the self is too—then I hope my poems are streets or bridges or open doors that allow me approach to these strangers, this strangeness to which I belong and which belongs to me.

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