Madeline DeFrees, November 18, 1919–November 11, 2015

November 13, 2015

On Wednesday, November 11, Madeline DeFrees passed away at her home in Portland, Oregon. The cause was complications of dementia. She would have been 96 on November 18.

There will be a celebration of her life on December 4, 2015, 3:00 pm, at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 2310 SE 148th, Portland, OR.

Details to follow about a memorial in Seattle. Contact me if you’d like to be notified by email.


LAR Issue 14 Dedicated to Madeline DeFrees

The LA Review Issue 14

October 5, 2015

The Los Angeles Review dedicated Issue 14 to Madeline DeFrees. The issue features three of her poems as well as essays by Carolyne Wright and Anne McDuffie.
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Video: Tribute to Madeline DeFrees

February 22, 2014

Watch the tribute video created for Madeline DeFrees’ induction into the Hall of Achievementat the University of Oregon, November 1, 2013.

University of Oregon to honor Madeline DeFrees

October 10, 2013

Madeline DeFrees will be inducted into the 2013 Hall of Achievement at the University of Oregon on November 1, 2013.

Established in 1998, the Hall of Achievement honors alumni and faculty members of the School of Journalism and Communication for their outstanding accomplishments and exceptional contributions to the field of journalism and the communities in which they live and work. Madeline DeFrees earned a M.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1951.

“Whaling Wife” Poems in Two New Anthologies

Fire on Her Tongue: An eBook Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry

October 11, 2012

A series of five persona poems based on journals kept by the wives of New England whalers have now been published together for the first time. Madeline  DeFrees started the series while she was teaching at U. Mass Amherst. In 1985, Nimrod published “Whaling Wives: Jenny Martinson, Whaling Captain’s Widow, Addresses the Historical Society” and “Whaling Wives: Submit Claiborne,” and The Massachusetts Review published “The Whaling Wife Awaits the Captain’s Return Home.” Ms. DeFrees lost faith in the project after a colleague questioned its worth, and she never tried to publish the two remaining poems. They were discovered in her files in 2008.

In 2009, Crab Creek Review published “Whaling Wives: Desire Hathaway 2” and “Whaling Wives: Jenny Martinson Learns Semaphore.” Now, for the first time, all five of the “Whaling Wife” poems appear together in Fire on Her Tongue: An E-book Anthology of Women’s Poetry, edited by Kelli  Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy (Two Sylvias Press, 2011). “Whaling Wives: Desire Hathaway 2” also appears in A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, edited by Stacy Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz (University of Akron Press, 2012).