Kathleen Rooney

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Kathleen Rooney
Kathleen Rooney a la Weldon Kees.JPG
Kathleen Rooney as Weldon Kees, discussing Robinson Alone, DePaul University, 10-12-2012
Born Beckley, West Virginia
Occupation Writer, publisher, editor, professor
Nationality American
Alma mater George Washington University;
Emerson College
Genre Novelist, poet, essayist
Notable awards Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry for Robinson Alone (2013)[1]
The Gatewood Prize for Oneiromance (an epithalamion) (2007)[2]
Ruth Lily Fellowship (2003)[3]
Spouse Martin Seay

Kathleen Rooney is an American writer, publisher, editor, and educator.


Kathleen Rooney was born in Beckley, West Virginia and raised in the Midwest. She earned a B.A. from the George Washington University and an M.F.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. While at Emerson, she was awarded a 2003 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry Magazine.

Rooney's first book, Reading with Oprah: the Book Club That Changed America, an in-depth analysis of the cultural and literary impacts of Oprah's Book Club, was published by University of Arkansas Press in 2005 and reissued in 2008. Her first poetry collection, Oneiromance (an epithalamion) won the 2007 Gatewood Prize from feminist publisher Switchback Books.

Rooney was named one of the Best New Voices of 2006 by Random House, which included her essay "Live Nude Girl" in their influential anthology Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers. A book-length version, titled Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object, was published by University of Arkansas Press in 2009.

In 2006, Rooney and Abigail Beckel co-founded Rose Metal Press, an independent not-for-profit publisher of hybrid genres (short short, flash, and micro-fiction; prose poetry; novels-in-verse; book-length linked narrative poems).

Rooney is a frequent collaborator with the poet Elisa Gabbert,[4] with whom she has co-authored the collections Something Really Wonderful (2007), That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (2008), Don't ever stay the same; keep changing (2009), and The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go (2013).

In 2011, with poets Dave Landsberger and Eric Plattner, Rooney co-founded the Chicago not-for-profit poetry collective Poems While You Wait,[5] which composes typewritten poetry on demand at local libraries, street & music festivals, museums, & art galleries.

Rooney's 2012 novel-in-verse Robinson Alone, inspired by the life & work of poet Weldon Kees and his alter-ego persona-character "Robinson," won the 2013 Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry. Her debut novel, O, Democracy!,[6] was released by Fifth Star Press in Spring 2014 and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, loosely based on the life of Margaret Fishback, was released by St. Martin's Press in 2017.

A former U.S. Senate Aide, Rooney is currently a visiting assistant professor at DePaul University. She lives in Chicago with her husband, the writer Martin Seay.

Selected publications[edit]

Selected interviews[edit]


External links[edit]