Patti M Marxsen
Patti M. Marxsen is a writer and independent scholar whose articles, essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared in over 50 journals, newspapers, and magazines in America and Europe. A selected list includes Absinthe, the Boston Globe, Cahiers of the French Schweitzer Association, Caribbean Writer, The Critical Flame, Fourth Genre, The French Review, GRAFIAS, Hello Switzerland, International Herald Tribune, Necessary Fiction, New England Antique Journal, Prairie Schooner, Offshoots (journal of the Geneva Writers Group), Saisons dAlsace, and the Women’s Review of Books. As a former French teacher with an M.A. in Art History, Marxsen has also served as art critic for two American newspapers in Kentucky and Maine.
Her long-standing interest in the art, literature, and history of the Francophone world led her to a decade-long association with the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti (1997-2007) and her self-described role as “a student of Haiti.” In recent years, her contributions to Haitian studies have been noteworthy, including writings on key figures in Haitian literature (such as Madison Smartt Bell, Edwidge Danticat, Yanick Lahens, Jacques Roumain, Marie Vieux-Chauvet). In 2009, she conducted a study on the accessibility of Haitian literature in three major U.S. library systems entitled “Public Places/Silent Voices,” which appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of the Journal of Haitian Studies. She has also served on the board of the Haitian Studies Association based at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (2009-2012).
As publications manager for the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century from 2000-2007 (now The Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue in Cambridge, MA), Marxsen developed and managed the marketing of two books on global education widely used in college classrooms, both published by Teachers College Press: Educating for Global Citizenship (Nel Noddings, Ed.) and Ethical Visions of Education (David T. Hansen, Ed.). She also developed two collections of essays on interfaith issues within the context of peace studies and global ethics: Subverting Greed and the 10th Anniversary Edition of Subverting Hatred, both published by Orbis Books.
Her own books include a collection of travel essays, Island Journeys: Exploring the Legacy of France (Alondra Press, 2008) and a collection of short fiction, Tales from the Heart of Haiti (Educa Vision, 2010). Her book-length translation from the French of Albert Schweitzer’s Lambarene: A Legacy of Humanity for Our World Today by Jo and Walter Munz appeared in March of 2010 with support from eight international Schweitzer associations. She has also translated Chant de Notre Rhone, the 1920 epic prose poem by Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz (1878-1947). Her English version, Riversong of the Rhone, was published in a bilingual edition in 2015 by Onesuch Press. Marxsen has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and achieved a Special Mention in the 2009 Pushcart Anthology for her essay “Alone in Amsterdam” (Fourth Genre, spring 2007). In 2013, her essay “Gâteau de Payerne” was awarded the Geneva Writers Group Literary Prize for Non-Fiction, judged by Dinty W. Moore.
Marxsen’s biography of Helene Schweitzer Bresslau (1879-1957), the little-known wife of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, brings a remarkable woman out of the shadows with a compelling narrative that interrogates gender assumptions and the omissions of history. Helene Schweitzer: A Life of Her Own (Syracuse Univ. Press, April 2015) has been called a “remarkable achievement” (Kathleen Jones, professor emerita of Women’s Studies, San Diego State University) and “a great advance in Schweitzer scholarship” (A.G. Rud, Washington State University).
More recently, Patti Marxsen's critical biography of Haitian writer & public intellectual Jacques Roumain (1907-1944) was published in the spring of 2019 by Caribbean Studies Press and was honored with the 2019 Haitian Studies Association Book Prize.
Awards and Recognition
- Please see Bio.