Upon Her Retirement, A Farewell to Jeannine Savard

As a graduate student in ASU’s Creative Writing program, it is difficult, if not impossible, for me to overstate the impact Professor Jeannine Savard has had on her students and the creative writing community as a whole. Since 1980, Savard has been mentoring ASU writers in both graduate and undergraduate workshops where her poetic eye and lyrical expertise have been instrumental in transforming and elevating her students’ writing.

A modern American poet, Savard has published several volumes of poetry, including Snow Water Cove (University of Utah, 1998, re-published with Carnegie Mellon in 2005), Trumpeter (Carnegie Mellon, 1993), My Hand Upon Your Name (Red Hen, 2005), and Accounted For (Red Hen, 2011). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, such as Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, The Antioch Review, and many, many others. She is the recipient of such awards as the Jerome J. Shestack Prize for poetry from The American Poetry Review and the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Prize.

American poet David St. John has called her work, “poised imagistic richness,” going on to say, “her powerful narrative intelligence is equaled only by her superb lyric eloquence.”

Poet and ASU creative writing alum Dorothy Chan (MFA 2015) had this to say:

She is kind, compassionate, funny, and charming. During my three years at ASU, she drastically improved my poetry. Her classes offer variety, and push towards popular culture and the contemporary relevance of poetry, all of which are important factors in becoming a modern American poet. I loved her "Death and Transfiguration" and "Persona Poetry" classes—Jeannine gave the most innovative prompts and pushed students towards stronger voices in writing. I cannot thank her enough.

Indeed, there is so much more to say and write, yet every page (and writer!) has its limits. We humbly and graciously thank Jeannine Savard for her many years of service, wishing her the very best in her writing and retirement. Thank you, Jeannine. You’re a gem.

Ernesto L. Abeytia

A member of ASU Creative Writing since its inception, Savard performed a reading at the program's 30th Anniversary "Write Now" event on Thursday, October 1, 2015.