This month, So19 is pleased to publish its first literary works. The three poems by poet and playwright Jennifer O'Grady that appear on the site all reflect on women's lives through the particular prism of 19th-century experience; you can read them here.

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finds its roots in the biography of playwright Anton Chekov's sister Maria Chekova and Water Journal its inspiration in historical documents including the diaries of whaling-captain wife Anna Chipman Lawrence.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 Columbia University School 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 Charlotte's Letters, upcoming in the January 19 issue. Find out more about Jennifer and her work at her website here. 
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.