Student Spotlight: Jane Wohl

Student Spotlight: Jane Wohl

Categories: Student Profile, Union News

Union student Jane Wohl holding the four books she has written: “Beats in the Snow”, “Bound Feet”, “Learning from Old Masters”, and “Triage”.

 

Jane Wohl is a 2nd year MDiv student at Union Theological Seminary, former faculty member at Sheridan College and Goddard College, and poet whose work was recently featured in The New York Times. “I started writing seriously in 1978 when I moved to Wyoming,” Wohl said. Since then, she has published four books and earned a PhD in creative writing. “Someone asked me the other day what my writing practice is. I don’t have one—I write when I write. When you raise a family, if something occurs to you you take a quick note of it, then write it when the kids are asleep.” 

Jane felt the call to come to Union two years ago, while she was living in Vermont helping out with her grandchildren at the start of the pandemic. “There were two things happening for me at that time,” she said. “George Floyd protests were going on in Portland, and my impulse was that if I were in Portland I would be there, on the streets.” Jane has been involved in the reproductive rights struggle and civil rights movement for over fifty years. “Secondly, I had the thought that the tools that we used in the sixties and seventies didn’t seem to be working anymore, and I was wondering, ‘What do we need to be doing?’” Shortly thereafter, Jane heard what she describes as a ‘call’ to go to Union. “I’ve never been happier in my life,” she said. “And I’ve had a pretty happy life.” 

“The richness of the community at Union has been incredible,” Jane said. “There is so much freedom to be expressive here. I appreciate all of the variety of the faculty and of my fellow students. I’m always a bit pleased and surprised when a twenty-something says ‘you’ve lived such an interesting life.’ I tell them, ‘in twenty-five years, you will have too!’” 

When asked what advice she has to offer for those considering pursuing an education post-career, Jane has true wisdom to offer. “We only have a finite amount of time. I asked myself, ‘what am I going to do, knit baby blankets for the rest of my life? Or am I going to do something interesting?’ Do not ever be afraid of making a leap. Often those leaps lead to the richest times in our lives.” 

To purchase Jane’s books, visit Sheridan Stationery Books’ website: https://sheridanstationerybooks.com/ 

To read Jane’s latest feature in The New York Times, visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/23/nyregion/metropolitan-diary.html 

 

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