Faculty Profile


Jennifer Maier

Professor of English; Writer-in-Residence; Co-director of Art and Incarnation Rome Study Abroad Program

Email: jmaier@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2976
Office: Marston 235

Education: BA, BS, University of Washington, 1985; PhD, Tulane University, 1998. At SPU since 1995.

Specialties: Modern American and British poetry, creative writing (poetry)

A native of Washington State, Jennifer Maier divided her childhood between Washington, California, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She attended Catholic parochial schools through high school and went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Washington with degrees in English and physiological psychology. 

An interesting afternoon in her anatomy dissection lab (ask her about this), involving a human brain, a scalpel, and a poem by Robert Frost, helped Dr. Maier decide to forgo medical school in favor of postgraduate study in American Literature. She moved to New Orleans, a favorite city since childhood, to study at Tulane University, completing her dissertation (on the artistic alliance between photography and poetry in the early 20th century) in 1998. It was during her time in New Orleans that Dr. Maier also began to publish her own poems, inspired by the eccentric mélange of art, history, and culture unique to that city.

At SPU Dr. Maier serves as writer-in-residence and teaches courses in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, as well as intermediate and advanced poetry writing workshops.  Every other summer she leads a month-long study abroad program for creative writing and literature students in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Maier’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals in including Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, American Poet, Image, and Christianity & Literature, and has aired frequently on Public Radio International’s The Writer’s Almanac. Her first collection, Dark Alphabet, won the Crab Orchard Review Series in Poetry First Book Award and was named one of the Ten Remarkable Books of 2006 by the Academy of American Poets. Her second collection, Now, Now was published in 2013 by The University of Pittsburg Press. A new book, These Bodies Are Not Our Own, is nearing completion.

You may read some of Dr. Maier’s poetry on her website: jennifermaier.net.


Now, Now

University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013

Dark Alphabet

Southern Illinois University Press, 2006