Meet Jen Rouse: Animal Heart's December Poet-in-Residence

Jen Rouse's lines are like biting into apples, the tart and sweet tumble of water and earth and seed and stone.
And they are funny, too, at times. And then hauntingly sad. Sometimes these turns happen almost at the same exact moment, and you think: How did she do that?
Magicians, and poets, too, are not supposed to reveal their tricks.
But Rouse is a generous woman.
So when asked if she would be the first poet we featured on Animal Heart's "Footprints" blog, she happily agreed not only to send us some of her glimmering work, but also to let us in on some of what she uses to create.
For the next two weeks, we will be presenting Rouse almost as Animal Heart Press's first poet in residence. Check back for poetry, features, a brilliant and beautiful short film, artwork, and practical advice that can help you revise a pesky line or open your hearts to what you really need to say.
And mark your calendars, because on Wednesday, December 12 at 7 pm central time, we will hold a live interview on Twitter @pressanimal. Come and ask Rouse questions about her poetic process and where she likes to go to write.
Along with inking poetry, Rouse also writes nonfiction and paints works of art that are rich, deep, and powerful.
Currently, Rouse works as the Director for the Center of Learning and Teaching at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
Rouse has had a career of educating others in not only how to write, but also how to read, deeply and together, how to seek information, and how to learn within a community.
Her chapbook, "Acid and Tender," a collection of works that draw upon the paintings of Frida Kahlo for inspiration, received the Charlotte Mew prize.
"Jen Rouse gets to the heart of both poetry and painting when she writes," wrote Ellen Bass, a poet who studied with Anne Sexton and was a judge for the prize.
This fall, Rouse released her latest books, "Cake," and "Riding with Anne Sexton."
"She may be riding with Anne Sexton," wrote Rob Cline, a reviewer with The Gazette, "but she's also got a firm grip on the wheel as she drives through this shifting terrain."