Monday, April 27, 2015

Jehanne Dubrow

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, including most recently The Arranged Marriage, Red Army Red, and Stateside.

From her Q & A with Jeannine Hall Gailey:

Speaking of your new book, I thought one line (related to the title) really revealed the heart of the book: The first line from “Set Jerusalem Above My Highest Joy—Psalm 137” “Every marriage is arranged to be /broken.” Can you discuss?

JD: The Arranged Marriage explores different forms of forced intimacy. Yes, the book considers an actual arranged marriage, but it also examines how even those relationships entered into consensually can be shattered, how they can wound us. There’s also a terrible moment of trauma at the heart of The Arranged Marriage. When my mother was a young woman, she was held hostage at knifepoint by a man who had escaped from an asylum for the criminally insane. Writing The Arranged Marriage, I came to understand that this moment of violence was a kind of arrangement of the fates, a closeness that could have broken my mother if she hadn’t been so strong.

Many of your books deal with conflicts of a different, more global nature (the stresses of life in the military, childhood in a Communist-controlled nation, etc.) and this one feels more intimate, more personal. I was thinking of it as a director narrowing the focus of her camera. How different/difficult was it to write this particular book? How has it been giving readings? I saw in your study guide that you interviewed your mother for this book; was that a difficult/rewarding process?

JD: The Arranged Marriage is based on two years’ worth of interviews with my mother. Occasionally, the collection felt as if it wrote itself. Even before I spent time interviewing my mother...[read on]
Visit Jehanne Dubrow's website.

Writers Read: Jehanne Dubrow (April 2010).

Writers Read: Jehanne Dubrow (November 2012).

Coffee with a Canine: Jehanne Dubrow and Argos.

--Marshal Zeringue