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Jan Donley

Affiliated Departments
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Career Highlights
  • Playwright, fiction writer, and artist
  • Play It's Just the Wind featured in 2007 Boston Theater Marathon and Give the Dog a Bone at Beckmann Theatre in 2006
  • Paintings include "Train Study" (PAAM, 2018)
  • Publications include A Certain Light, an illustrated novel manuscript, Emerald City Literary Agency (2017); House, Hopewell Publications (2015); Dirt and Sky, three short fictions in Platte Valley Review's Forces of Nature issue (2012); and The Side Door, Spinsters Ink Press (2010)
  • Short stories appear in literary journals 34th Parallel and Silk Road, and in the anthology Stories from Where We Live
  • Gallery shows include Reflections in Time and Place: Jan Donley and Chris Roddick (2018), and Two-Person Exhibition: Jan Donley and Barney Leavitt (2017), both at Stewart Clifford Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts
  • Studies with Sam Smiley and Dennis Reardon, and Vera Roberts and Marvin Carlson at Indiana University; Germaine Greer, Lillian Robinson, Winston Weathers, and Shari Benstock at University of Tulsa; and Edward Abbey, Pamela Stewart, and Peter Wild at University of Arizona
  • Painting "Train Study" was chosen for You Should Be an Artist at Michael Ingbar Gallery, New York (2018)
  • Novel The Side Door (2010) won Best in General Fiction from the Golden Crown Literary Society (GOLDIE) and was chosen by the American Library Association to be on their Rainbow List
  • Painting "Orange Brothers at Night Window" was in the top 100 in the Mobile Digital Art and Creativity Summit (2016), and painting "Watching Rothko" was in the top 200 in the Mobile Digital Art and Creativity Summit (2015)
  • M.F.A., Indiana Unversity, 1988, theatre and drama
  • M.A., University of Tulsa, 1984, modern letters
  • B.A., University of Arizona, 1982, general studies
In Their Own Words

"I want students to realize that their inner resources are there, that I am here to help them find and manage them. I want students to understand that sometimes those inner resources can be hard to summon. There are so many outside forces that can get in the way. But students can learn to focus and stay true to their paths. I also want students to come away with the tools to succeed and realize that on their journeys to their dreams, the path may look different from what they expected."

"My study of literature taught me the power of story. My study of poetry taught me the power of form and language. My study of playwriting taught me the power of action, not just physical action, but emotional action and subtextual action. As a result, I have brought that sense of action to my teaching, noting that students are never simply as they appear, that their emotional and subtextual actions matter. Finally, my current study and practice of art have reminded me that there are visual stories, and nothing is ever what it seems. There is always more."

"I believe in stories: writing them, drawing them, listening to them, living them."