I am a storyteller.
I write poetry, Young Adult fiction, and nonfiction. I'm the author of the poetry chapbook Glances Back and the co-author of Powerful Ideas in Teaching: Creating Environments Where Students Want to Learn. I produce stories for radio. I teach: first English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and now creative writing workshops at various venues (see "News & Events"). What all these things have in common, for me, is stories.
I grew up in Connecticut with a family who loves good food, good books, and wide-ranging ideas discussed exuberantly (and at length!) over the dinner table. After graduating magna cum laude from Williams College with a BA in English (discussing more good books and taking every creative writing class offered), I moved out to Minneapolis and began working in refugee resettlement. The Somali, Hmong, Karen, and Liberian families in the orientation classes I taught would tell me stories of sorrow and resilience, and I would try to explain the vast new country that was their new home. It took a lot of listening.
At the same time, I was working on my MFA in poetry at the University of Minnesota, learning how words can be art. "You're studying what? Why?" my co-workers asked. I say it was the perfect combination: beautiful words and something important to say.
That combination should keep me busy for the rest of my life.
I live and write in northern Wisconsin with my husband and young daughter. Check out a sample of my poetry as it has appeared in several online journals: