Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Janine Kovac

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Oakland, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2021

Janine Kovac is a writer and interdisciplinary artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She draws on her experience as a professional ballet dancer to explore the intersection between art and empathy as expressed through the constraints of the physical body. Her memoir Spinning: Choreography for Coming Home was a semifinalist for Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize and a winner of the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards. Janine is an alumna of the Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, and the Mineral School and a recipient of a 2016 Elizabeth George Foundation Fellowship and the 2021 San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press Award for Literary Nonfiction.

During her 2021 residency, Kovac finished an outline of her novel-in-progress Proposition, which examines the sex-trafficking epidemic in Oakland from the dual perspective of survivors striving to create a better world for themselves and white-savior activists oblivious to the ways they perpetuate systemic inequality. Proposition was granted fiscal sponsorship in 2022 by Fractured Atlas.



Janine Kovac worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

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