I think about imagination and creativity and its place in our fast-paced world. For me, writing is a way of slowing down. The cadence and layers in both fiction and poetry are something to savor—and I do—rereading books by my favorite authors and new authors I discover again and again. The words stay with me long after I've turned the last page. These poems and stories bring a deeper meaning to my daily life.
I can't remember a time when I didn't use writing to make sense of the world. The best writing reveals an emotional truth--different from the literal truth. As I tell my students, you owe nothing to reality. The best writing feels authentic even if it takes us to imaginary towns or leaps into a future we cannot know.
I am the author of two collections of short fiction, Impossibly Small Spaces (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2018) and Growing a New Tail (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2015). I also have four published collections of poetry including Necessary Silence (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2013) and the collaborative collection with Irish poet and writer Geraldine Mills The Other Side of Longing (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2011).
I'd love to visit your classroom, book group, library, professional development committee, or community organization. I can provide questions for discussion and suggestions for successful writing curriculum. I also Skype with faraway groups and offer writing workshops for teens and adults, editing assistance, and one-to-one mentoring either remotely or in person. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing, an MA in Counseling, and I've been teaching students from grade two through college for over twenty years.
Literature matters because it is one way that humanity with all of its losses and triumphs can become a work of art.
Check my schedule for a reading near you or contact me if you'd like to bring me to your hometown. Buy books (particularly from independent booksellers) and bring them as gifts next time you're invited to dine at someone's house. They last longer than a bottle of wine and you'll be one of the many heroes supporting small presses that often struggle to survive. You'll also be introducing writers to your friends.
I hope to meet you at a reading or literary event! Thank you for your support.