About Jackie Craven

Writer Jackie Craven in a red shirt stands in front of dark green foliage.

Jackie Craven writes poetry and prose steeped in magical realism. Her new collection, WHISH, won the Press 53 Poetry Award. Previous books include Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters (Brick Road Poetry Press), chapbooks from Headmistress Press and Omnidawn, and illustrated books on interior design. Shorter works appear in AGNI, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and many other journals and anthologies. After completing a Doctor of Arts from the English Department at UAlbany, she worked for many years as a journalist covering architecture, art, and travel. She lives in Schenectady, NY; Cocoa Beach, FL; and on Zoom, where she hosts an open mic for writers.

Academic Life

Jackie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned a Doctor of Arts in Writing from the University at Albany, New York. She received fellowships from the New York State Writers Institute and other workshop programs. A number of leading writers provided guidance and instruction, and she’s especially grateful to Ellen Bass, Frank Bidart, Scott Cairns, Henri Cole, Carolyn Forché, Barry Goldensohn, Andrea Hollander, Ilya Kaminsky, James Lasdun, Thomas Lux, Bernadette Mayer, Marge Piercy, Tim Seibles, and Barbara Louise Ungar. Jackie’s teaching background includes stints as a high school reading specialist, a distance learning instructor, and an English instructor for the University at Albany, Russell Sage, Schenectady County Community College, and Hudson Valley Community College.

Much of Jackie’s writing draws inspiration from her mother’s art. She works at a cluttered desk in front of her mother’s painting of a juggler, a monkey, and a davenport drifting in mid-air.

 

Surrealist painting by Louise Hourrigan

Personal Life

Jackie Craven grew up in a family of magical realists. Her mother and sister were painters who filled their northern Virginia home with the scent of turpentine. After college, Jackie moved to upstate New York where she taught English, wrote travel articles, and tried to repair her run-down house. Old buildings can be irresistible, and Jackie adopted several dilapidated Victorians on her street. With a partner and several helpers, she set up a small but chaotic business restoring and renting out Victorian apartments. She became a columnist for House & Garden and Realtor magazines, wrote two books on interior design, and for twenty years wrote the architecture content for an online media company. Art and architecture are recurring themes in much of her poetry. Paintings by her mother and sister are featured on the covers of her collections.

Q & As and Interviews

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