Author, poet, playwright, and teacher Dr. Andrea Fisher Rowland spent her childhood years in New Zealand, and thereafter was a Virginia resident for most of her life. She graduated in English from James Madison University, where hers was the first student-written play – entitled “Fancies” – ever presented on the main stage of campus and for which she won the Norman Lear Award for Comedy Playwriting.
She earned an MA from the University of Virginia with a concentration in Creative Writing, studying with John Casey and Greg Orr. She went on to earn a PhD from the University as well, working with Karen Chase and Edgar Shannon. Her dissertation, The Supernatural Muse: Representations of the Creative Impulse in the Fiction of Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Dickens, examines the supernatural figures (ghosts, genii, etc.) appearing in those authors’ works.
She worked as an Assistant Dean and Director of Studies at the University of Virginia, taught composition and literature at Wake Forest University, and taught introduction to theater at James Madison University. She has directed readings and productions of Shakespeare and other early modern playwrights at Wake Forest and at the University of Virginia. Most recently she taught English at Renaissance School in Charlottesville.
Throughout the years, while raising her son Liam, she wrote poetry, plays, and fiction, notably her novel High Tide. In 2017, an excerpt from the novel was a finalist in the Virginia Festival of the Book Fiction Contest, and her poem, “These Same Fields,” won the Writer House / Jefferson Madison Regional Library Poetry Competition. Her poetry collection, Family Album, was published in June 2019 and High Tide is forthcoming this year, both from Chenille Books.