Author Takes Jenks Chair

Noted creative non-fiction writer and novelist Leah Hager Cohen has been appointed to the W.H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary American Letters, succeeding Visiting Professor Bill Roorbach, whose tenure in the position ended in June.

“I have been struck by the warmth of people’s welcome and by their evident openness to collaboration—something I am eager to explore,” Cohen says. “The very title of the position—Jenks Chair of Contemporary American Letters—suggests a spirit of cooperation and interdisciplinary exploration, as ‘Letters’ are, clearly, important to so many kinds of scholarly work and thought.”

Cohen, who holds a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing from Hampshire College and a master of science degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is the author of several books, including Heat Lightning (Harper Perennial, 1998) and The Stuff of Dreams: Behind the Scenes of an American Community Theater (Penguin, 2002). Her most recent publication is House Lights (W.W. Norton, 2007). Four of Cohen’s works have been awarded Notable Book citations by The New York Times.