Dots & Dashes
Jehanne Dubrow Southern Illinois University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3604.U276A6 2017 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Moving between the languages of love and war, Jehanne Dubrow’s latest book offers valuable testimony to the experiences of military wives. Frequently employing rhyme, meter, and traditional forms, these poems examine what it means to be both a military spouse and an academic, straddling two communities that speak in very different and often conflicting terms.
As in the poet’s earlier collection, Stateside, the poems in Dots & Dashes are explicitly feminist, exploring the experiences of women whose husbands are deployed. But, while Stateside looked to masculine stories of war, Dots & Dashes incorporates the views and voices of female poets who have written about combat. Looking to Sappho and Emily Dickinson, the poet considers how the act of writing allows her autonomy and agency rarely granted to military spouses, even in the twenty-first century. Dubrow catalogs the domestic life of a military spouse, illustrating what it is like to live in a tightly constructed world of rules and regulations, ceremony and tradition, where “every sacrifice already / knows its place.”
Navigating the rough seas of marriage alongside questions about how civilians and those in the military can learn to communicate with one another, Dubrow argues for compassion and empathy on both sides. In this timely collection, Dubrow offers the hope that if we can break apart our preconceptions and stereotypes, we can find what connects all of us.
Red Army Red: Poems
Jehanne Dubrow Northwestern University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3604.U276R43 2012 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Displaying a sure sense of craft and a sharp facility for linking personal experience to the public realms of history and politics, Jehanne Dubrow’s Red Army Red chronicles the coming of age of a child of American diplomats in Eastern Europe in the 1980s. In the last moments of the Cold War, Poland—the setting for many of the poems—lurches fitfully from a society characterized by hardship and deprivation toward a free-market economy. The contradictions and turmoil generated by this transition are the context in which an adolescent girl awakens to her sexuality. With wit and subtlety, Dubrow makes apparent the parallels between the body and the body politic, between the fulfillment of individual and collective desires.
Jehanne Dubrow Northwestern University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3604.U276S73 2010 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, 2012 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America
Winner, Individual Artist's Award from the Maryland State Arts Council
First Prize, Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award for Poems on the Jewish Experience (for three poems from her manuscript-in-progress, "The Arranged Marriage")
Although the poems in Stateside are concerned with a husband's deployment to the war in Iraq, Jehanne Dubrow's riveting collection is driven more by intellectual curiosity and emotional exploration than by any overt political agenda. The speaker in these poems attempts to understand her situation within the long history of military wives left to wait and wonder – Penelope is a model, but also a source of mystery. These poems are dazzling in their use of form, their sensual imagery, and their learnedness, and possess a level of subtlety and control rarely found in the work of a young poet. Dubrow is fearless in her contemplation of the far-reaching effects of war, but even more so in her excavation of a marriage under duress.