Spring 2021 Contributing Artist Statements

Trisha Cowen

“If you asked me at seven years old what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you, “A marine biologist, a storyteller, and a mother of seven.” However, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, parenting—or even the concept of parenting—would never be the same. After watching CNN clips of the attack on Sandy Hook for weeks, I questioned whether I still wanted to bring children into this world, imagining the daughter I might someday have and how we might navigate fear, anxiety, and love in the 21st century. Even though this daughter was only imaginary at the time, I mourned for her childhood that was already stolen by rising gun violence across America, despite not even being born yet. This fall, my wife and I will be sending our eldest daughter to Kindergarten. We worry about her being bullied because she has two moms, about COVID-19 finding its way into her asthmatic lungs, and about boys carrying misplaced anger and guns. When we drop her off, we will squeeze her until we can’t breathe—until our hearts almost stop—and then we will let her go. ”


Trisha Cowen works as an Assistant Professor of English at Westminster Trisha M. Cowen is an Assistant Professor of English at Westminster College. She earned her doctoral degree in Literature and Creative Writing at Binghamton University (SUNY) and completed a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. Her creative work has appeared in The Portland Review, Bitter Oleander Press, and Passengers Journal, among many others. She is the author of a fiction chapbook about lesbian motherhood called Mobiles in the Sky (2014), published by Gertrude Press. She lives in Pennsylvania with her wife and two young daughters. For more information, go to https://trishacowen.com/