Iversen, Kristen 1958-

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Iversen, Kristen 1958-


Born March 5, 1958, in Des Moines, IA; daughter of Richard Arnold and Marilyn Elaine Anderson; married Theron Britt; children: Sean Christopher, Nathan Kieran. Education: University of Colorado, B.A., 1981; University of Denver, M.A., 1991, Ph.D., 1996. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, skiing, travel.


Office—Department of English, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152. E-mail—kiversen©memphis.edu.


MDM Publications, San Jose, CA, managing editor, 1982-84; Continental Communications, Denver, CO, senior editor, 1984-86; freelance journalist and travel writer in Europe, 1986-89; University of Denver, Denver, teaching fellow, 1989-96; Metro State College, Denver, professor of English, 1996-98; Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO, professor of English, 1996; University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, professor of English, 1995-96; Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, CO, managing editor, 1997; San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, professor of English, 1997-2000; University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, professor of English and editor of Pinch, 2000—. Associate for Rocky Mountain Women's Institute, 1992-93.


Modern Language Association (Rocky Mountain chapter), American Studies Association, Colorado Historical Society, Women Writing the West, Denver Fortnightly Club.


Colorado Book Award for Biography and Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction, both for Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth; University of Memphis research award.


Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, foreword by Muffet Brown, Johnson Books (Boulder, CO), 1999.

(With Sueellen Campbell and Fred Baca) Sites of Insight: A Guide to Colorado Sacred Places, edited by James Lough and Christie Smith, University Press of Colorado (Boulder, CO), 2003.

Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction, Pearson/Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including Alaska Quarterly, Dickinson Review, Cream City Review, Bloomsbury Review, and Flannery O'Connor Bulletin.


Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth was adapted for television as an A&E network biography titled Molly Brown: An American Original.


Kristen Iversen's award-winning Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth is a study of the legendary woman about whom The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the Broadway show and Hollywood musical, was written. The popular version of Margaret Tobin Brown's life has been distorted over time but is based on fact. She was born in 1867 to a poor Irish family that had immigrated to Hannibal, Missouri. The family became prominent in Denver society when the silver mining ventures of her husband, J.J. Brown, were wildly successful. Brown was also one of the survivors of the Titanic disaster, which is reflected in the title of the play. Booklist reviewer Margaret Flanagan called this biography "a must-read for Titanic buffs."

Iversen has written the first true investigation of the life of Brown. She notes that Brown was a social reformer who championed the rights of women and children and who considered running for Congress. She also spoke on labor and race issues and in later life became an actress of some talent. Although she and her husband owned mines, she was in favor of the unionization of the miners. A Publishers Weekly contributor called Iversen "particularly adept at placing Brown in the context of her times" as she considers the early twentieth century "through the lens of feminism and economic and social change."

Iversen, who teaches fiction and nonfiction writing, has also written a textbook titled Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction.



Booklist, July, 1999, Margaret Flanagan, review of Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, p. 1919.

Publishers Weekly, June 14, 1999, review of Molly Brown, p. 60.


Goucher College Web site,http://www.goucher.edu/ (November 14, 2006), brief biography of Kristen Iversen.

Kristen Iversen Home Page,http://www.kristeniversen.com (November 14, 2006).

University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences Web site,http://cas.memphis.edu/ (November 14, 2006), biography of Kristen Iversen.

San Jose State University Web site,http://www.sjsu.edu/ (November 14, 2006), brief biography of Kristen Iversen.