Laura Capp holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in Victorian and modernist British literature and a Graduate Certificate from the Center for the Book, where she continues to study as an MFA student, specializing in calligraphy and letterpress printing. In both her scholarship and her artwork, she explores relationships between speakers and audiences and the complications attendant to communication. Laura's literary research examines how women poets of the dramatic monologue stage relationships between marginalized speakers like a runaway slave, a prostitute, and a nun and the silent auditors who listen to their desperate utterances. Although the poets she studies—Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Augusta Webster, Amy Levy, and Charlotte Mew—perform a remarkably empathetic act in animating primarily female characters on the fringes of their social worlds, the poems themselves end overwhelmingly in failures of communication that question the ability of dialogue to generate empathetic connections between individuals with radically different backgrounds. Laura's calligraphic artwork renders such communicative obstacles visually, creating barriers to legibility and meaning that simultaneously invite and frustrate attempts at reading.

Former Fellow
2011