Hathaway teaches writing and literature at Wichita State University.
Originally from Chicago, she settled in Wichita over thirty years ago.
In her writings, she explores the intersections between knowledge and
belief. She was a Dominican nun as a young woman, and this experience
informs her work. Keen observation grounds her poems, which create
situations for exploration of faith.
title that is also a synonym for exploration, focuses on a woman who
could be a neighbor “across the street.” I suspect she could also be a
guise of the poet herself. Scenes in Hathaway’s poetry could be set in
Wichita, but they are made more general, to fit experience of any
reader. The woman forays into dark morning, a time that should be
sunrise, but instead she is immersed in a sightless darkness that
reveals only self. The woman is like a fish, awake yet submerged in
watery depths. Her heartbeat centers her own “atmosphere,” again in a
pre-dawn and pre-creation setting. Yet in this dark place, she finds two
things: body and grace. These create the paradox of incarnation.
Before dawn, before
hushed light causes
to stir, the woman
across the street
rises, every morning,
her life backwards
as a fish sated at the
will dive deeper and
until even sight is a
She is alert now,
herself as out of
and faithful, and
by the immense
of her own atmosphere,
the unsettling grace
and her cold feet.
Jeanine Hathaway earned a BA in English (Siena Heights College, 1970)
and an MFA in Poetry (Bowling Green State University, 1973).
This poet published
The Self as
(University of North Texas Press, 2002, 2001 Vassar Miller Prize for
Poetry). Her prose includes an autobiographical novel,
(Hyperion, 1992) and monthly personal essays for
The Wichita Times.
She published in numerous
Georgia Review, The Greensboro Review, River Styx,
The Best Spiritual
Writing. Hathaway is a
professor at Wichita State University and received the Wichita State
University Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1993.
©2010 Denise Low AAPP 44 ©2002 Jeanine Hathaway “Reconnaissance,” in
The Self as Constellation (University of North Texas Press).