English professor publishes new book of poetry

The Washington College English Department faculty continues to live what they teach in the writing program through another successful publication.

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Dr. Kimberly Quiogue Andrews published “A Brief History of Fruit,” a book of poetry that centers around familial themes.

The genesis of her book was 10 years in the making, a project that started out as 50 pages in her Master of Fine Arts program, according to Dr. Andrews.

“I wrote a lot of these poems ages ago. Then I got my Ph.D. and did a lot more reading and returned to my poems, basically rewriting them from scratch,” Dr. Andrews said.

Her poetry changed over the decade, as she had.

“There were fewer poems in 2009,” Dr. Andrews said. “I am more overtly political now and did not frame my work in the way I did until I spent time in more scholarly work.”

Dr. Andrews’ new book releases in the wake of her first chapbook, “Between,” winner of the 2017 NewWomen’s Voices prize from Finishing Line Press published in 2018.

“I will never be a minimalist. I am never not going to write long poems,” Dr. Andrews said.

As a professor of English and creative writing, Dr. Andrews believes that there is no substitute for being a writer other than writing.

“Reiterating what makes good writing [to my students] reminds me of what I love on top of what I think poetry should be doing,” Dr. Andrews said.

Chair of English, Director of Writing, Creative Writing, and Journalism, Edit- ing, and Publishing (JEP) Dr. Sean Meehan stressed the importance of professors continuing to write and publish.

“It is important to stay active in working on our craft to understand and appreciate what we are asking our students to do,” Dr. Meehan said. “We are asking questions about language, family, and identity that are supposed to be challenging, not walk away with the answers.”

Dr. Andrews wrote about what she knows and found “what works for her.”

“I am able to interrogate what I am doing then make it happen. It is not about self-expression, but creating your end of a conversation,” Dr. Andrews said.

Instead of holding a reading at the Rose O’Neill Literary House, the Bookplate will host Dr. Andrews’ reading on Friday, April 3 as part of the First Friday festivities.

“Part of the reason in reading at the Bookplate is to let the town know that there are people on campus who are coming out with books, but there are a lot of poets and artists in Chestertown. In a town of 5,000 people, there is a whole festival about poetry and people who love to hear about poetry, so there is clearly an audience for it,” Dr. Andrews said.

By reading in town, this will “connect with the community” and kick off the start of poetry month, according to Dr. Meehan.

To celebrate poetry, Dr. Andrews hopes that her work teaches students that it is about “finding what conversation you are entering.”

“Find the mode you are comfortable in. Putting together your voices comes out of practice and a deep, broad, constant reading. Then you will find out what anyone’s voice is,” Dr. Andrews said.

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