Jane Wodening (born Mary Jane Collom, and formerly known as Jane Brakhage) is an American writer and the first wife of filmmaker Stan Brakhage. The birth of their first child is the subject of the 1959 experimental short film Window Water Baby Moving. Wodening married Stan Brakhage in 1957 and is credited with creating scrapbooks for the Brakhage family during what is recognized as the filmmaker's most significant period of creation from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s. The couple separated in 1987.
Wodening grew up in a Chicago suburb, and moved to Fraser, Colorado, when she was eleven years old. After graduating highschool in Boulder, she dropped out of college and went to New York City. After meeting Stan Brakhage, the couple traveled around the country for several years before settling in Lump Gulch, where they had five children together. After separating from Brakhage, she again traversed the U.S. and settled in a cabin in Fourth of July Canyon, where she lived alone for ten years and authored seven collections of short stories.
Window Water Baby Moving
Jane insisted that Brakhage be present at the birth of their daughter, Myrrenna; however, Brakhage felt he would faint if he weren't focused on filming the event. The hospital initially gave permission for filming, but this was later reneged. Instead, Brakhage transferred the birth to their home, hiring a nurse and some expensive emergency equipment. Jane was originally "very, very shy" about being filmed, but eventually relented after Brakhage made "a big dramatic scene and said 'All right, let's forget it!'" Most of the film was shot by Brakhage himself, but Jane occasionally took the camera to capture her husband's reactions.
works by Jane Wodening
• Wolf Dictionary - Sockwood Press, Nederland, CO 80466, 2016
• Brakhage’s Childhood - Granary Books, New York, NY 2016
• The Lady Orangutan and Other Stories - Sockwood Press, Nederland, CO 2014
• Living Up There - Foreword by Reed Bye - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 2009
• Egypt and Me - Introduction by Jennifer Heath, design by Sarah Bell - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 2012
• First Presence - Introduction by Merill Gilfillan - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 2000
• Mountain Woman Tales - illustrated by Betsy Buck - Grackle Books, Nederland, CO 1994
second edition Mountain Woman Tales and Bird Journal, 1967 - Baksun Books, Boulder CO 2000
• Book of Gargoyles - preface by Lucia Berlin - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 1999
• Moon Songs - situations press, New York, NY 1997
• The Inside Story - Baksun Books in collaboration with Rodent Press, Boulder, CO 1996
• From the Book of Legends - 100 copies made - Granary Books, New York, NY 1989
second edition, preface by Robert Creeley - Invisible Books, London, UK 1993
• Lump Gulch Tales - Grackle Books, Nederland, CO 1993
second edition - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 1993
The Daily Planet
Whole Earth Magazine
Works & Conversations
Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde
Sites of Insite
The Libraries of Thought and Imagination
"The moon was a great chum when I was an adolescent. He looked like a freckle-faced boy and when he’d smile, it was going to be a nice day."
- Deming, Richard (October 2006). "Collage, Collaboration, and Material Quotation: The Scrapbooks of Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage, 1962-66, in the Beinecke Library". The Yale University Library Gazette. 81 (1/2): 27–41. JSTOR 40859520.
- Smith, Jeffrey. "Author's latest ties together lifetime of observations". MMAC Monthly. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- MacDonald, Scott (2005) A critical cinema: interviews with independent filmmakers, p64-66
- Barr, William R. (1999) "Brakhage: Artistic Development in Two Childbirth Films," Film quarterly: forty years, a selection, University of California Press, p536-541
- Whittaker, R. "A Conversation with Jane Wodening: Doors of Perception". Works & Conversations. Retrieved 17 August 2015.