Margaret Rozga

2014 Baron Fellow
Milwaukee, MI

Research at AAS

Margaret Rozga reads “Jessie: The Bodisco Wedding, Georgetown 1840” from her book Pestiferous Questions: A Life in Poems resulting from her 2014 Robert and Charlotte Baron Fellowship here at AAS.

Jessie Benton Frémont (1824-1902), the book’s central figure, faces the troubling questions of race, gender, class, American expansion, American exceptionalism, and love as they shape not only her life but our history and national identity. Politically astute, disparaged as a woman who didn’t know her place, faithful to a difficult marriage, privileged, sometimes questioning privilege, a product her times, and forward-thinking, she emerges both as a public figure and private person in these poems. The book, Rozga’s fourth, was published by Lit Fest Press in 2017 and helped pave the way for her selection as 2019-2020 Wisconsin Poet Laureate.

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