Department of English

Jehanne Dubrow
Jehanne Dubrow
Book Cover

Chestertown — Washington College's 2008-2009 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series continues with a reading by poet Jehanne Dubrow at the Rose O'Neill Literary House on Tuesday, October 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Dubrow is currently a Visiting Professor of English at Washington College. She earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; she also has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry, from the University of Maryland and a B.A. from St. John's College.

Dubrow's work has appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review, The New England Review, Shenandoah, Barrow Street and Gulf Coast. She is the author of a chapbook, The Promised Bride (Finishing Line Press). Her full-length collection won the 2007 Three Candles Press First Book Prize and will be published in 2008.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture. The 2008-2009 series includes poetry readings, fiction readings, lectures and, as its culmination in March 2009, a special appearance by two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

Admission to Dubrow's reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

Jehanne Dubrow was born in Italy and grew up in Poland, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Belgium, Austria and the United States. She is a highly accomplished poet known for her straight-forward honesty and shocking subject matter. Washington College has the supreme pleasure to have her not only as a visiting speaker, but also as a visiting professor. Any students who do not have the supreme pleasure of taking one of Dr. Dubrow's classes should attend this event to sample her genius!

Read Jehanne's Blog on Gefilte!

Review of Dubrow's, The Promised Bride

Praise Jehanne Dubrow's The Promised Bride: This book hurts. It is designed, artfully, to hurt. To shock. It is an erudite, finely crafted book whose purpose is to break every barrier of convention and denial so that we, in a jaded age, will Pay Attention. —The Montserrat Review

Read a poem from Dubrow's forthcoming book, The Hardship Post, and listen to a few poems from at the reading:


The tongue will recreate the taste of juice,
sipping on prayers made hot with black pepper
and swallowing a rough-edged word like sin
it asks for utterance but scrapes the throat.
The world-to-come is body without pain.
But here, the body learns itself through tests:
a palm burned by a pot, an eye turned toward
the sun, a woman pressed against a man.
Heat and friction teach what food cannot,
except the food of speech, fat sentences
that sate the mouth by spilling out.
There is a space between some legs. The gut
needs emptiness in order to be filled.
A hand holds tight before it learns release.

— first appeared in The New England Review

Non-essential Equipment

The Erotics of Deployment


An audience listens eagerly at the poetry reading.

Jehanne Dubrow reads from her newest collection of poetry.

Jehanne and Lit House Director, Josh Shenk, pose for a picture after the reading.