The Dean Blog

August 28, 2009

In Memory of Denise Gess

Filed under: News and Announcements — LBA @ 5:36 pm
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Announcement: A celebration of Denise will be held on October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Westby Art Gallery. Anyone wishing to pay tribute to Denise by relating a special memory or reading from her work or your own can contact Ron Block ( or Julia Chang (

Our college lost a much loved and respected member this week.  Professor Denise Gess died at 6:30 Saturday morning, August 22.  Denise was a faculty member in the Writing Arts program, recently having been granted tenure and promotion at Rowan.  She was an amazing, vivacious, optimistic, intelligent, and talented woman, teacher, author, and colleague.  Her presence at Rowan and in our lives will be sorely missed.

In clear indication of how much she impacted the lives of those around her, several friends and colleagues have published tributes in recent days.  A tribute from her friend and fellow author, Paul Lisicky can be found here.  A wonderful and moving piece writing by Professor Julia Chang can be accessed at this location.  Information regarding a planned tribute reading at City College is also on Paul’s blog spot.

If you would like to read some of Denise’s wonderful work, see “Painting the Personal Essay,” “Not Tony and Tina,” or check out one of her books: Good Deeds, Red Whiskey Blues, and Firestorm at Peshtigo (with Bill Lutz).

Denise has clearly left her mark upon the college, her friends and family, and the literary world.  We can only wish she had longer to do so.



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