Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Associate Professor of English

PhD MA University of Southern California, MFA University of Pittsburgh, BA Oklahoma State University

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
is interested in poetry, poetics, creative nonfiction, Asian American studies, adoption studies, opera, and translation. Prior to joining St. Olaf College in 2008, she taught at the City University of New York and Loyola Marymount College and also served as founding director of the SummerTIME Writing Program in Los Angeles, a college access program for inner-city high school students.

Jennifer’s debut collection, Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007), received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Book Award, and her chapbook, Song of a Mirror, was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Snowbound Series Chapbook Award. Her writing has appeared in journals and magazines in Europe, North America, South Korea, and New Zealand; has been anthologized in Echoes upon Echoes (Asian American Writers Workshop 2003), and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond(W.W. Norton 2008); featured on radio and in film; and translated into Greek, Korean, and Turkish. Widely collaborative, Jennifer has worked with composers, dance choreographers, and video artists to set her poetry to music and movement and to develop films drawing from her scholarship on overseas Korean adoption’s history. Her music collaboration, “Among Joshua Trees,” with Steven Gates won the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music Series and debuted at Carnegie Hall. She is also the librettist forAnemone, a chamber opera about Korean comfort women, composed by Charles Ilwoo Lee and performed in Los Angeles.

Columns and new stories about Jennifer’s present research on adoptee birth searches and unwed moms have appeared in Chosun IlboConducive Magazine, Gyeonghyang News, Hankyoreh, Korea Herald, Korea Times, Pressian, and Yonhap News. Currently she is writing a book of essays about unwed moms’ realities with the Korean Unwed Mothers and Families Association and a second book of poetry. To learn more about Jennifer’s teaching, please visit: