St. Olaf English professor receives Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship
St. Olaf College Associate Professor of English Jennifer Kwon Dobbs has received the prestigious Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship in Literature.
The Jerome Foundation awarded a total of 60 fellowships — 10 each in the disciplines of dance, film/new media, literature, music, theater/performance/spoken word, and visual arts — to early career artists based in Minnesota and New York City.
Each fellow will receive $40,000 over two years in direct support to advance artistic or professional development and/or to create new work. Kwon Dobbs and other Minnesota-based fellows will also be offered individualized professional development guidance through Springboard for the Arts of St. Paul. An additional $10,000 per artist will be made available to select nonprofit organizations with which the fellows are working during the grant period.
Discipline-specific panels, composed of artists, curators, artistic directors, and arts administrators, considered a total of 1,167 applicants before recommending the 60 selected fellowships to the Jerome Board of Directors for approval — a funding rate of just 5 percent.
Associate Professor of English Jennifer Kwon DobbsThis generous two-year grant comes at a pivotal moment in my creative writing career. It will enable me to transition from an emerging artist to an established one with a body of work available to readers beyond the U.S.
The Jerome Foundation notes that Kwon Dobbs, who is also the program director of Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf, “is a transnational poet and scholar whose work confronts militarism and racial-gendered-class violence dividing kinships, selves, and imagination. Inspired by the Korean diaspora to which she belongs, she aspires to create alternative ways of feeling, knowing, and remembering to resist over 60 years of unending Korean War and its legacies. Her work has appeared previously in Agni, Blackbird, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Jubilat, Korean Literature Now, Massachusetts Review, Poetry International, and elsewhere.”
She is the author of the poetry collections Interrogation Room, mentioned by the New York Times as “timely,” and Paper Pavilion, which received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize.
With the support of the grant, Kwon Dobbs will continue developing her third poetry collection, tentatively titled Decolonia, that combines 3-D image stills from her Digital Humanities on the Hill grant (with Magnus Cardell ’18) and her research into white settler colonialisms figured in Karl May’s Winnetou and Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show. She is also co-translating with Johanna Domokos (University of Bielefeld, Germany) a selected volume of Nordic Sámi poet Niilas Holmberg’s work and co-editing a multi-genre anthology on creative writing, critical pedagogies, and community spaces with St. Olaf Assistant Professor of English Sequoia Nagamatsu leading an editorial team that also includes University of St. Thomas Assistant Professor of English Chris Santiago and Boxcar Poetry Review editor Neil Aitken.
“This generous two-year grant comes at a pivotal moment in my creative writing career,” Kwon Dobbs says. “It will enable me to transition from an emerging artist to an established one with a body of work available to readers beyond the U.S.”