Jennifer Maier


Professor of English
Associate Editor of Image

B.A./B.S., University of Washington, 1985
Ph.D., Tulane University, 1998

Specialties: Modern American and British poetry, creative writing (poetry); co-director of Art and Incarnation Rome Study Abroad Program

Office: Marston 235

A native of Washington state, Jennifer Maier divided her childhood between Washington, California, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She attended Catholic parochial schools through high school and went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Washington with degrees in English and physiological psychology.

An interesting afternoon in her anatomy dissection lab (ask her about this), involving a human brain, a scalpel, and a poem by Robert Frost, helped Dr. Maier decide to forgo medical school in favor of postgraduate study in American Literature. She moved to New Orleans, a favorite city since childhood, to study at Tulane University, completing her dissertation (on the artistic alliance between photography and poetry in the early 20th century) in 1998. It was during her time in New Orleans that Dr. Maier also began to publish her own poems, inspired by the eccentric mélange of art, history, and culture unique to that city.

At SPU Dr. Maier teaches literature courses in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, as well as creative writing seminars and intermediate and advanced poetry writing workshops. She also serves as an associate editor for the arts quarterly, Image. Every other summer she co-leads the month-long Art and Incarnation study abroad program for creative writing and art history students in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Maier’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Poetry, American Poet, Poetry Daily, and Christianity & Literature, and has been featured several times on Public Radio International's The Writer's Almanac hosted by Garrison Keillor. Her first collection, Dark Alphabet, won the Crab Orchard Review Series in Poetry First Book Award and was named one of the Ten Remarkable Books of 2006 by the Academy of American Poets. Her second collection, Now, Now will be published in the fall of 2013 by The University of Pittsburgh Press.