Her poem Geography finds its roots in the biography of playwright Anton Chekov's sister Maria Chekova and Water Journal its inspiration in historical documents including the diaries of whaling-captain wife Anna Chipman Lawrence. Traces posits imagined women involved in the kind of craft, part science and part art, not uncommonly pursued by educated women of the century. O'Grady has also used the 19th century as source material for dramatic work; her play Charlotte's Letters, the subject of an upcoming So19 interview, is inspired by the lives of Charlotte Brontë and her friend and biographer Elizabeth Gaskell. Whether in poetry or prose, her reflections on things 19 are rich, nuanced, and always engaging.
Jennifer O'Grady received her B.A. from
Vassar College and her M.F.A. in Writing from the
of the Arts. Her poems have been published in journals including Harper's and The
New Republic, collected in the volume White (Mid-List
Press), and featured on The Writer's Almanac. Be sure to read
the Society Nineteen interview with Jennifer about her play Columbia University School 's Letters, upcoming in the January
19 issue. Find out more about Jennifer and her work at her website here. Charlotte
Geography, Traces, and Water Journal are reprinted from White and © Jennifer O'Grady; special thanks to The Southern Review, where Geography first appeared. Photograph of Maria Chekova, no longer under copyright, found here.