Meet Poet Laureate Jenny Browne


Jenny Browne

Jenny Browne learned to walk on the grounds of Fort Sam Houston. After moving with her family to Maine and then the Midwest, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1993. She continued her travels and lived in Alaska, West Africa, El Salvador and the South of France. These formative experiences with other cultures and landscapes shaped her commitment to literature as a means of opening minds, cultivating imagination, and creating empathy for people and places beyond one’s own skyline.

Jenny Browne is a dedicated and skilled educator, who for more than 20 years has brought communities together to strengthen literacy and celebrate literary arts. From 1998-2004 she worked in local schools, libraries and community centers with support from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City’s UrbanSmarts Program, ARTSSanAntonio, and Gemini Ink. She created and designed a K-12 curriculum integrating writing, environmental education and the poetics of place that was piloted in Gulf Coast schools. From 2000-2003, she founded and directed the Good Samaritan Center’s Literary Arts Program on San Antonio’s Westside.

She is the author of three collections of poems: At Once, The Second Reason, and Dear Stranger, and her work has been published widely, including in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The New York Times, PEN Poetry Series, and Tin House. In 2004, she received a prestigious three-year James Michener Fellowship from the University of Texas in Austin, where she received her MFA in Poetry, and in 2007 joined the Department of English at Trinity University where she currently teaches courses in creative writing and environmental studies, as well as co-directs Women and Gender Studies.

Over the years, Browne’s work has created platforms and opportunities for people to engage in writing and to explore ideas and identities across cultures, economic backgrounds, and ages. She continues to build local, regional, and global partnerships, working with Borderland Collective to create Narratives of Resettlement, a two-year-long creative collaboration with refugee families.

In 2012, Browne traveled with the U.S. Department of State and the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program on two cultural diplomacy tours, teaching poetry in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and in the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone. Most recently, she completed a semester-long sabbatical in the Atacama Desert of Chile, and Oaxaca, Mexico.

When she is not teaching or traveling, Browne writes in a hundred-year-old house in the historic La Vaca neighborhood where she lives with her husband, photographer Scott Martin, and their daughters Lyda and Harriet.

To learn more about Jenny Browne, visit:

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Friday, August 7, 2020