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Stateside: Poems Paperback – March 29, 2010
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More About the Author
Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and book reviews have appeared in Southern Review, The New Republic, Poetry, The Hudson Review, The New England Review, as well as on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She earned a B.A. in the "Great Books" from St. John's College, an MFA from the University of Maryland, and a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has been a recipient of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, the Towson University Prize for Literature, an Individual Artist's Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and a Sosland Foundation Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
The daughter of American diplomats, Dubrow was born in Italy and grew up in Yugoslavia, Zaire, Poland, Belgium, Austria, and the United States. She is the Director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House and an Associate Professor of creative writing at Washington College. She serves as the Series Editor of the Literary House Press and is the Founder and Editor of Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College.
You can learn more about Jehanne by visiting her website: www.jehannedubrow.com
Top Customer Reviews
The book has three sections, which are roughly divided into before, during, and after the deployment. In the first section, Dubrow catalogues the fears, dreams, and preparations before her husband's departure. In the nightmarish sonnet "Against War Movies" she runs through all the war movies she has seen, imagining that she sees her husband in every character who is killed: "Each movie is a training exercise, / a scenario for how my husband dies." In the second section, Dubrow uses The Odyssey as a lens for viewing her life while her husband is gone, but this Penelope diets, gets a new haircut, fends off passes from divorcés, walks the dog Argos, takes Telemachus to the mall. Both of the first two sections are highly effective, but my favorite is the third section, which faces up unblinkingly to the difficulties of re-entry after a long absence, each spouse newly awkward around the other.
The feelings are both raw and nuanced in these poems, and Dubrow's technical mastery of the wide variety of forms--blank verse, rhymed quatrains, triplets, couplets, sonnets, nonce forms--acts as a sort of protective gear for handling potentially explosive emotions. Her approach to form is flexible, often using loose rhythms and slant rhymes. Thought and feeling do not cancel each other out in the poems, but pull against each other with a tension that also creates a bridge
I very much enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. It will be on my recommendation list for any family that is preparing for deployment, has experienced deployment, or anyone who wants to understand what it is like for those of us who love and support those who serve on the frontlines in our military.
I admit that I have always had an intense respect for Jehanne. She is a faculty member at Washington College, which I find very inspirational, since I still think I want to go tenure-track. So far, she's the only milspouse I've met that has managed to swing my dream job. That makes her tough as nails in my book.
I haven't read every word yet. I think it is too weighty for me to digest in one sitting. I found that each selection I read as I flipped through the book brought me back to some moment of my marriage. Reading felt so personal, like she was at once essentially "strumming my pain with [her] fingers" and at the same time I was voyeuristically watching her lay bare the very essence of herself in a way that I do not have the courage to do.
I found her comparisons to Penelope from the Odyssey incredibly clever, providing a familiar place for people who don't live this life an easy entry point into our world. And, as someone who has read the Iliad and the Odyssey in Latin for my Latin classes in high school, I found it refreshing to see these stories humanized and put into the perspective of the modern world.
I strongly suggest you buy the book and read it for yourself. It is a very portable version of every military spouse's story and a window into a world that most Americans find completely alien.
I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to win such a wonderful book. I want to thank Jehanne for hosting the contest and providing me the opportunity to see myself reflected in another's eyes.
The collection's forty-three poems are divided into three loosely chronological sections. Part I precedes the husband's departure. The wife experiences anxiety over the coming separation and her husband's safety. The poems in Part II focus on Homer's Penelope, the traditional model of a military wife left behind by her husband in time of war. But this is a Penelope transported into modern times. The speaker imagines Penelope, identifies with her, and speaks for her. The poems in Part III occur after the husband's return. Now the wife must become wife again. The marriage is strained by the effects of war and the long separation.
Stateside is both a delicate and a forceful collection. The story rings familiar, but is told anew. The poems are beautifully and skillfully written. Dubrow has a remarkable facility with forms. They are handled with such deftness and grace that the reader is barely aware of their presence. This collection simultaneously satisfies the reader's intellect and pierces the heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Author of two previous books, From the Fever-World, (Washington Writers' Publishing House) and The Hardship Post (Three Candles Press) and a chapbook of poetry, The Promised Bride... Read morePublished on April 13, 2011 by laura madeline wiseman
Although "Stateside" has a military/Navy orientation, it is equally applicable to the U.S. Foreign Service/diplomacy or, indeed, for all of those who in the 21st century find their... Read morePublished on January 22, 2011 by Retired Diplomat