A River Of Words
Washington College has its share of scientists and historians who examine the Chester River for stories and secrets, seeking a means to better understand our place in the larger world. Now, the College has a poet who will bring a new cross-curricular perspective to that same study. Meredith Davies Hadaway M’96, whose collections of poetry based on the river have earned her four Pushcart nominations and multiple awards and fellowships, on July 1 becomes the Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence.
Stepping down from her role as vice president of College Relations and Marketing—an office where she worked for nearly 30 years—Hadaway will focus on poetry in her new role. During the fall semester she’ll offer the College’s first interdisciplinary workshop on ecopoetry, combining environmental study of the river with poetic reflection upon it.
Hadaway will teach the majority of the course on the water, where students can experience the river ecosystem aboard some of the College’s fleet of boats. The students will have the chance to explore their own creative and critical writing in response to the ecosystem, as well as study leading poets in the craft, among them W.S. Merwin, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, Camille Dungy and Jane Hirshfield. Hadaway also plans to weave in work by visual artists and musicians inspired by the environment.
“It’s a great opportunity to make a classroom of our beautiful Chester River,” Hadaway says. “I look forward to working with student writers and collaborating with guest lecturers from other disciplines.”
During her year in residence, Hadaway will also be working on two manuscripts of her own work. “I can’t imagine a better place to focus on writing than the Rose O’Neill Literary House.”