Jennifer Kwon Dobbs is Professor of English/creative writing and program director of Race and Ethnic Studies. Her teaching interests include poetry, poetics, creative nonfiction, Asian American literature, and critical ethnic studies.
Born in Wonju-si, Republic of Korea and raised in Oklahoma, she is a first-generation college graduate and holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. While at USC, she co-founded SummerTIME, a college-access writing program for inner-city high school students in Los Angeles. In 2008, she joined the St. Olaf faculty after previously teaching at Loyola Marymount University and the City University of New York.
Her books include Paper Pavillion (White Pine Press Poetry Prize, 2007), Interrogation Room (White Pine Press, 2018) mentioned in The New York Times and praised by World Literature Today for "a vigorous restlessness," and the chapbooks Notes from a Missing Person (Essay Press, 2015) and Necro Citizens (hochroth Verlag, 2019, German/English edition). She is also the editor of Multiverse: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press 2020) by Bulgarian-German poet Tzveta Sofronieva and co-editor of Radical Kinships: An Autocritical Gallery (Demeter Press, forthcoming) with Jenny Heijun Wills, Lisa Moore, and Joshua Whitehead. Currently, she is co-translating Sámi poet Niillas Holmberg's Underfoot, a finalist for the 2020 Nordic Council Literature Prize, with poet-scholar Johanna Domokos (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2022).
Kwon Dobbs has received grants and awards for her writing, most recently the 2020 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award for Outstanding Achievement in Creative Writing: Poetry and a Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. In addition to serving on the Coffee House Press board of directors, she is poetry editor of AGNI and visiting lecturer at Universität Bielefeld. www.jkwondobbs.com