Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Born in Wonju, Republic of Korea and adopted by a steelworker and homemaker in Oklahoma, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs is a poet, editor, co-translator, and teacher with interests in poetry, creative writing, Asian American literature, critical ethnic studies, and literary translation. A first-generation college graduate, she holds a BA in English with honors and a minor in history from Oklahoma State University, an MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA in English/PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California.
Her works include Paper Pavilion (2007), recipient of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Motton Book Award; Interrogation Room (White Pine Press 2018), winner of the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award in Creative Writing: Poetry and finalist for the Copper Nickel/Milkweed Jake Adam York Prize; and the chapbooks Notes from a Missing Person (Essay Press 2015); Necro Citizens (hochroth Verlag 2019, English/German edition); and Song of a Mirror, finalist for the Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award (Fox Books forthcoming, English/Bulgarian edition). She is also editor of Multiverse: New and Selected Poems by Bulgarian-German poet Tzveta Sofronieva (White Pine Press 2020) and a co-translator of Sámi poet Niillas Holmberg’s Juolgevuođđu, forthcoming as Underfoot (White Pine Press 2022), with poet-scholar-translator Johanna Domokos. Currently, she is poetry editor at AGNI.
Widely collaborative, Jennifer has partnered with artists, composers, documentary filmmakers, dance choreographers, and virtual reality programmers such as Jane Jin Kaisen, Jennifer Mellor, Thomas Osborne, Nebal Maysaud, and Deann Borshay Liem on a range of interdisciplinary projects that have premiered in Asia, Europe, and North America. In support of her writing and scholarship, she has received fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Minnesota State Arts Board, among others.
Committed to community, Jennifer serves on the board of Coffee House Press and the external advisory board of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Center for Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Previously, she was a fellow of the Korea Policy Institute, an advisory board member of Adopsource, and the director of education and outreach for Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea. With Dr. William Arce, she co-founded the writing curriculum for the USC Rossier School of Education’s SummerTIME college-access program.
For over 20 years, she has taught students from LaGuardia Community College in New York to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles to the Loft Mentor Series in Minneapolis to Universität Bielefeld in Germany. Her former students have been accepted to graduate or professional school at Columbia University, London School of Economics, University of California San Diego, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, Yale University, and elsewhere.
Since 2008, she teaches at St. Olaf College where she is Professor of English and a founding director of the Race, Ethnic, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.