Home Sandra Mason


Photos by Carl Ellston.

I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon,  and became a Shakespearean and professor of English and writing at Eastern Oregon University, where I also served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and where I was recipient of the Woman of Vision and Courage Award.  Prior to this I was a professor at the State University of New York, where I received both the President’s and the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and was Chair of Undergraduate Studies in English and co-director of the Humanities Center.  I have conducted research at the Folger Shakespeare Library and received an American Council of Learned Societies Grant to participate in the World Shakespeare Conference in Berlin.  I specialize in studies of metaphor, particularly metaphors of value and coinage, and am author of Econolingua (1985).  I am also a feminist, and my articles on Renaissance dramatist Elizabeth Carey and on Ophelia in Hamlet are widely reprinted.  As a Research Fellow at the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities, I applied metaphors of value and valuation to Shakespeare’s history plays.  My scholarly articles appear in various learned journals.  For several years I was a member of the Oregon Chautauqua program, traveling around the state speaking on "My Shakespeare," which focused on portraits and changing conceptions of Shakespeare throughout the ages.  In fall of 2009 I had the honor of being inducted into the North Salem High School Hall of Fame for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement.

I have spent the last decade as a creative writer of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama.  My works appear in various literary magazines, and I was a recipient of the Oregon Literary Arts fellowship award in drama. I am founder and organizer of the Northwest Poets’ Concord and past President of Writers on the Edge.

Recent books appear under the pen name Alexandra Mason, http://alexandramasonbooks.com

The Lighthouse Ghost of Yaquina Bay

Poems Along the Way

Lost and Found


First place, Dueling Judges, for "Sweeping:  Three Scenes," Oregon Poetry Association, Fall, 2014.

North Salem High School Hall of Fame for "Distinguished Lifetime Achievement," 2009, Salem, Oregon.

Woman of Vision and Courage Award, Eastern Oregon University, 2006.

Oregon Literary Arts fellowship award for Drama, 2002.

President's and Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Teaching, State University of New York, 1993.



            The Lighthouse Ghost of Yaquina Bay (2017)

             J. Carl Ellston of Exeter, Missouri (2015)

            Lost and Found (poems) (2014)

            Poems Along the Way (2012)

(as Sandra K. Fischer)

Econolingua: A Glossary of Coins and Economic Language in Renaissance Drama (Newark, Del.: Univ. of Delaware PressLondon and Toronto: Associated Univ. Presses, 1985), 180 pp.

            -Reviewed in Studies in English Literature 26 (1986): 395-96.

             -Reviewed in Shakespeare Quarterly 38 (1987): 117-19.

             -Reviewed in The Shakespeare Newsletter 37.1.193 (1987): 4.

              -Reviewed in Cahiers Elisabethains 30 (1986): 132

              -Reviewed in Theatre Survey 28 (1987): 75-77.

Creative Writing

“This Train Don’t…or, You Can’t Get there from Here,” in Groundwaters (2020).

“Palmprint” in Subjectiv (May 2020).

“My Shakespeare and the Folger” in Groundwaters (2018).

"The Lighthouse Ghost of Yaquina Bay" (excerpt), "To Li Bai at the End of the World" (after Du Fu), "Stormsong," and "A Political Paradigm" in Tuesday (2016).

Memoir essays and poems in "Groundwaters," 2016, 2017, 2018. "Falling into the Little North Fork, Falling into Philosophy," "Don't IM Me," "Not Yet" (poem), "To Hear the Mermaids Singing," "My Shakespeare and the Folger," "The Mystery" and "What Lies Ahead" (poems).

"For the Poet Laureate of Bucksport, Maine upon the Loss of her Mother," "You Again," "A Mondo and a Kata-uta," "The Teacher Grows Old," "Taoist Toasts," "Growing Old with Mother," "Another Lullaby," in Tuesday (2014).

"Prairie Ancestors" and "Climbing Larch Mountain" in Tuesday (2015).

"A Trip through the Heartland" in Seeds of . . . anthology, 2015.

“Small Steps” (poem), web published by Poets for Peace, www.iqpoetry.com, March 7, 2003.

 “Surfsound” (poem), hipfish, July 2003.

 “Bear’s Saga, or Revolution” (poem), The Cascade Reader, June 2003.

 “Heritage Tree,” featured poem in Sunday Oregonian, January 14, 2007.

“Postmodern Erotics” and “Earthwork” (poems) in The Pregnant Moon Review, 2007.

“Patients First” (creative non-fiction), The Propell Group Anthology, 2008.

 “Primrose” and “The Garden” (poems) in Thresholds, November, 2008.

“Fort Clatsop.” “Climbing Mt. Angel,” “Hillwriting: Grande Ronde Valley” (poems), and “Pickin’” (story) in Oregon150 (web), December, 2008.  

“A Prayer for Ellen,”(poem)  13th Moon, volume 21 (2009).

“Birdmen” (poem), Thresholds, Fall, 2009.

 “Snow” (poem), Thresholds, Winter, 2009.

 “Fort Clatsop” and “Pickin’” in Oregon Stories (Ooligan Press, 2010).

"A Taoist Considers Her Own Death," Concord, 3 (2011): 15.

 "A Love Story," "Context, an Etheree," "Imago," "The Writing Life," Tuesday, 5 (2010-11):  11-13.

"This is what life does," "To Reckon with Evil," "Thinking of Fame on a Night Journey (after Du Fu)," Concord, 4 (2012):  29-31.

 "Griffin and Marmalade," "Scars," "Heroism," "Go Where I am Going," "Reading the Winter Rain," Tuesday, 6 (2012):  10-16.

 "On Seeing Li Bai in a Dream (after Du Fu)," "The Development," "In Dreams," "The Season's Way," "The Face of Evil," Tuesday, 7 (2013):  13-23.



            “Beached Whale,” “Whale Mite,” “Low Moon,” and “Cloud Animals,” fall/winter  2007-08 issue of Oregon Literary Review.

“Coast Sunset” and “Beached Whale” in La Grande Observer, 2002, 2007.

“Moon Caught in Trees,” web-published on “Your Moon Buddy,” the Examiner, 2009.


Journal Articles and Essays in Collections 

“Poetry and Pedagogy, or Metaphors we Teach By,” in Reinventing the Liberal  Arts (Buffalo, NY, 1999), 1-9.

(as Sandra K. Fischer)

                        "Annie Dillard's The Living," American Fiction (Los Angeles: Salem Press, 1994): 2360-65.

                        "‘Cut my heart in sums': Shakespeare's Economics and Timon of Athens," in Money: Lure, Lore, and Literature, ed. John L. DiGaetani (London: Greenwood Press, 1994): 187-96.

                        "Garrett Kaoru Hongo," Critical Survey of Poetry (Los Angeles: Salem Press, 1992), 1567-74.

                        Carolyn Forche's "Burning the Tomato Worms," Poetry (Los Angeles: SalemPress, 1992), 2: 319-21.

                        Garrett Hongo's "Morro Rock," Poetry (Los Angeles: Salem Press, 1992),2: 1418-20.

                        Richard Crashaw's "On the Wounds of Our Crucified Lord," Poetry (Los Angeles: Salem Press, 1992), 2: 1596-98.

                        "Work to do: Humanities Centers in the ‘Nineties," Rereading 3 (1991):i-vii.

                        "Hearing Ophelia: Gender and Tragic Discourse in Hamlet," Renaissance & Reformation, n.s. 14 (Feb. 1990): 1-10.

                        --Excerpted and reprinted in The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 3rd ed., ed. Michael Meyer (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994):1019-20

   --Excerpted and reprinted in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, 6th –8th eds., ed. Michael Meyer (New York:  Bedford and St. Martin’s Press), 2002-2008.

--Excerpted and reprinted (28. SHAKESPEAREAN TRAGEDY: The Inner Conflict.  Hamlet, William Shakespeare. The Romantic Hamlet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Renaissance Hamlet, Elmer Edgar Stoll. The Psychoanalytic Hamlet, Ernest Jones. The Feminist Hamlet: Hearing Ophelia, Sandra K. Fischer. The Experimental Hamlet, Steven Berkoff.) in Discovering Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays, 3/E ,Hans P. Guth, Santa Clara University, Gabriele L. Rico (Prentice Hall, 2003).


--Excerpted and reprinted (Two Complementary Critical Readings: Joan Montgomery Byles, Ophelia's Desperation; Sandra K. Fischer, Ophelia's Mad Speeches) in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, High School Edition, 8th edition, 2008, ed. Michael Myer.


                        "‘He means to pay': Value and Metaphor in the Lancastrian Tetralogy," Shakespeare Quarterly 40 (1989): 149-64.

                        --Reprinted in Shakespeare’s Histories, ed. Emma Smith (London: Blackwell, 2003): 

--Reprinted in Rereading 3 (1991): 141-56.

                        "Isabel Archer and the Enclosed Chamber: A Phenomenological Reading,"Henry James Review 7.2-3 (Winter-Spring 1986): 48-58.  (Selected for special Portrait of a Lady issue.)

                        "Elizabeth Cary and Tyranny, Domestic and Religious," in  Silent but for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons,  Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, ed. Margaret Hannay (Kent, Ohio: Kent State Univ. Press, 1985),225-37, 287-89.

                        --Excerpted in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800, ed. Jennifer A. Brostrom (Detroit, MI: Gale, 1996), Vol. 30.

                        --Reviewed in Times (London) Literary Supplement, 13 June1986, 636; Renaissance Quarterly 39 (1986): 769; Spenser Newsletter 18.1(1987): 7-10; Virginia Quarterly Review 62 (1986): 88; Seventeenth Century News 44 (1986): 72; Books and Religion 14 (1986):7-8; Recent Studies in the English Renaissance 27 (1987): 145-46; American Historical Review 92 (1987): 124-25; Cithara 26 (1986): 76-78; AB Bookman's Weekly, 24 Feb. 1986, 235-36; Sojourner 12 (1986): 43; Journal of British Studies 27 (1986): 342-44; Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 5 (1986): 313; Religious Studies Review 12 (1987): 80; Albion18 (1986): 484-86; Moreana 23 (1986): 59-61; South Atlantic Review (1986): 119-22.

                        "Crashaw, Ste. Teresa, and the Icon of Mystical Ravishment," Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 4 (1983): 176-89.

                        "Drama in a Mercantilist World," Mid-Hudson Language Studies 6 (1983):29-39.

                        "George Eliot's Daniel Deronda," The Explicator 37 (Spring 1979): 21-22.



Featured poet at Oregon Writers’ Colony ceremony, Looking Glass Bookstore, Oct. 27, 2008, Portland, OR

Featured poet at 3d Anniversary Celebration of the Spoken Word sponsored by hipfish, Astoria River Theater, January 13, 2003

Staged reading of excerpts from my play, The Last Kalapooyan, Pierce Library, EOU, April 16, 2002

Dramaturge, As You Like It, SUNYA, 1993-94 (commended for excellence by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival)

Staged reading of Renaissance by David Bookbinder, Borders, Feb. 13, 1994 Gertrude and Ophelia in Tom Stoppard's Fifteen-Minute Hamlet, 1990


            Reviews, Abstracts, Feature Articles


"Belief and Difference" in Oregon Humanities, spring 2006.

 “Postcards from Europe,” series of four articles in the La Grande Observer, March, 1998.

(as Sandra K. Fischer)

                        Review of Paul N. Siegel's Shakespeare's English and RomanHistory Plays:A Marxist Approach (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1986), Shakespeare Quarterly 39 (1988): 368-70.


Review of Michael Bristol's Carnival and Theatre (London: Methuen, 1985), Theatre Survey 27.1,2 (May/November 1986): 174-76.


            Numerous theatrical reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin.