Professor Jenne' Rodey Andrews, M.F.A., is a highly regarded American poet, critic and memoirist. Recent work has appeared in former Autumn House Publisher Michael Simms' Vox Populi (over fifteen poems) The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and elsewhere.

Andrews' current ms of poetry Beautiful Dust was a finalist for the 2014 Autumn House and she recently withdrew the work from Salmon Ltd, Ireland to protest unmoderated bashing of American writers by Irish writers on the press's social media pages.

Her most recent collection, Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, lauded by Robert Bly and endorsed by poets Jim Moore, Dawn Potter and Patricia Kirkpatrick, appeared from Finishing Line Press 2013. A booklength collection Beautiful Dust was 2014 finalist for the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and solicited by Salmon Press, Ireland. Turning on work set in the West and her native Southwest the collection is under submission to 2019 publication prizes.

Andrews is currently hard at work on two new memoirs: The Shame Garden: A Woman Writes of Isolation, Despair and Self-Redemption, which in intensely wrought and imagistic prose poetry chronicles the anatomy of shame; it is the poet's late-in-life tour d'force, sending the reader through Dante's circles of hell, the sewers of Paris ala Les Mis, mano a mano confrontations with the Alien mater familias, fusing literary and vintage cinematic works in an elliptical dance with human history and experience of being Other. The poet has no idea of what will become of this work but hopes it finds a home as memoir with a small press.

A four part interview with Andrews went live at poet Maureen Doallas's blog Writing without Paper in 2010.

Other collections include the full-length Reunion, Lynx House Press, The Dark Animal of Liberty, Leaping Mountain Press, and In Pursuit of the Family, edited and published by Robert Bly and the Minnesota Writers Publishing House.

Her work has been anthologized in Heartland II, Northern Illinois University Press, 25 Minnesota Vols. I and II, Wingbone: An Anthology of Colorado Poetry, Women Poets of the Twin Cities, Oil and Water and Other Things that Don't Mix, and elsewhere.

Essays have appeared in MPR's Magazine, The Colorado Review, The Twin Falls Times News, and miscellaneous journals.

IIt is Prof. Andrews' belief that one's collection of poetry must be judged on the quality of its craft, voice, and language, not its themes.

With Mr. Bly the memoirist Patricia Hampl wrote a forward to her first collection and is considered the "mother" of the modern American memoir although she arguably shares this title with Mary Karr for Karr's The Liar's Club. Andrews mentored Karr in Minneapolis when the former was circa 19.

Professor Andrews has had an illustrious teaching career at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado where she taught prelaw students in the making of argument and the issues-oriented seminar The American West. She was the highest rated instructor in the University Writing program during her tenure at Boulder.

Currently Professor Andrews writes daily at age 70, having been rendered housebound in 2007 in a fall from a horse, at home with her lover and companion of thirty years the fiction writer Jack Brooks, ten new poems a month, and is working on an additional memoir about her pioneer roots, "Territory Fever: The Story of an Albuquerque Family," posted as chapters are finished to Loquaciously Yours where the poet has produced over 450 essays in the past decade on a variety of topics as well as book reviews. Upcoming: a review of Ethna McKiernan's new Salmon Collection.

Ms. Andrews is also a Civil Rights Advocate advocating in 2019 for the civil rights of the poet Ping Wang who recently won the AWP Award for Memoir.

In 2015, after a long battle, Andrews extracted her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, begun and finished in the 80's, self-advocating under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In fact Andrews was instrumental in the Colorado Commission on Higher Education's approval of the MFA at CSU.

She is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Minnesota Arts Board Fellowship, was short-listed for a Bush Foundation Fellowship, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78.

She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, one of the first poets to inaugurate The Loft Literary Center, co-founding Women Poets of the Twin Cities which as noted boosted the careers of Mary Karr, Ethna McKiernan and others, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy which gave rise to the "voluptuous prose-poetry" memoir Nightfall in Verona posted in entirety here, designated by arts maven and former friend Caroline Marshall of NPR The Writer Reads as "fabulous."

Circa 2010 Andrews also founded a poetry group on She Writes which included Dawn Potter, Katha Pollock and other noteworthy writers, and supported the work of Meg Waite Clayton, fiction writer in addition to mentoring a number of other up and coming writers.

There is no way to estimate the influence on the lives and work of the some 12,000 students k-12 she met and encouraged in the seventies, but the poet James Tolan has attributed his career to her work as it was anthologized in Heartland II, Lucien Stryk, Editor. Professor Stryk read the title poem of In Pursuit of the Family on NPR.

As noted the poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple's daily life is centered around writing and enjoying their beautiful imported Golden Retrievers;-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com.

Signed copies of the Blackbirds Dance collection, endorsed by James Moore, Patricia Kirkpatrick and Dawn Potter, are available from the poet. She posts new work below and is available for mentorship and virtual readings via Skype.

She is happy to critique ms. of poetry, fiction and memoir for a small fee.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Trying this out on followers and for One Shot....

(When you have time...hah...please stop by my primary blog, Loquaciously Yours....thanks.  Poem follows...)

Et sic clamor inter olores...

(“And thus, a cry among swans…”)

I know now why some women
stand under magnolias at dusk
Laughter like a brook over stones,
shaking their heads ruefully,
Swiveling their hips and signifying;

Oh yes, I know because of how it was
a few midnights ago, at two and at three
Deep love, panther love in the dark, spring rut
of two in their prime
Being cleft like prime rib by a veteran carver,
Going at it lust and love hard
Knocking loose tears and laughter
Everything a mess, laundry to do:

I know why one of the sisters is crying and the others
Are teasing her back from her sadness—
Because Jimmy was there and took her from behind
Until sunrise, leaving her speechless, love-wet,
And then she saw him drive by later that day, damn
spring-loaded black man
In a low rider, with another girl, down the dusty road.

Hmmm hmmm, and those songs:  “Stand by Me,”
And “I’ve Got You Under My Skin….”. 
I dance to salsa at twilight, toasting
Him, sad for the brevity,  that I had to cut it off--
Let go now of someone loving on me like an angel,
An Otello, dark, furtive, devouring—

Ruthlessly good at the gotcha, smooth as glass
at speeding away--
Bringing the moon right into me,
When I merely said now,
And yes.


moondustwriter said...

A great piece of reality - how many women have experienced that scenario?
well painted my friend

thanks for sharing with One Shot

Moon smiles

Maureen said...

Vividly visual images so well sustained throughout. . . and beautifully brought to a close.

Anonymous said...

Powerful is an understatement. Great close.

wanderer said...

a tale spoken in verse...touching and vivid...

Come along and join the challenge to think beyond...

visit the link

and share your own imagination triggered by the image...the comment section is waiting for you....

Anonymous said...

A moving account of betrayal, the more powerful for its spare imagery and use of conversational language. Very striking.

Bubba said...

This is a lovely piece, Jen.

I loved the line "Laughter like a brook over stones" - how perfect!

A very nice One Shot!

P.S. Happy birthday!
(Mine was the 3rd)

Claudia said...

amazing write jen - really liked this...and now i'm singing "stand by me" and can't get it out of my head and off my lips...
nice to meet you!

Jenne' R. Andrews said...

thanks to everyone who stopped by-- i'm making my way to you! Jenne'

Shashidhar Sharma said...

Dear Jen
You have written this one perfectly.. I enjoyed it. Thanks

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

Timoteo said...

You've won me over with this one...and now I shall follow...