Rosellen Brown

In her fiction, Rosellen Brown confronted themes of alienation, responsibility for others, and racial tension in America. After graduating Barnard College in 1960, Brown attended Brandeis as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Active in the civil rights movement, in 1965 she and her husband both joined a program through the fellowship to teach at the predominantly black Tougaloo College near Jackson, Mississippi. There she wrote her first collection of poetry, Some Deaths in the Delta, followed by a story cycle in 1974, Street Games, which explored the racial tensions of a poor Brooklyn neighborhood. In 1984, she wrote the popular and acclaimed Civil Wars, about two civil rights activists who adopt their bigoted, orphaned niece and nephew. Alongside her prolific and varied writing career, Brown taught at the University of Houston from 1982–1995 before joining the faculty of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also taught at the Spoleto Writers’ Workshop in Italy from its founding until 1994.

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Faculty, Creative Writing Program University of Houston

Date of Birth

Philadelphia, PA
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rosellen Brown." (Viewed on June 23, 2021) <>.


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