To read my work, please click the Publications tab above. To read my most recent work, please click a link to the right. News and announcements are below. Everything else — my bio, my presentations, my teaching experience — can be found above. Thanks for your interest!
I’m very excited to announce that the review I drew (not wrote!) of Lynda Barry’s excellent new book Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor is up at the Los Angeles Review of Books! The first page is below …
Click here to keep reading. You’ll be smitten by this book too. Enjoy!
My short essay “The Hour After” is in the new issue of The Examined Life, a journal that publishes “work that is related to health and the human condition.” Right now it’s print-only, but you can see the cover below. Updates to follow if there’s a link to it online!
Sometimes when people read an essay or a memoir they think they know more about the writer’s life than they actually do. They might speculate or wonder, or, if given the chance, ask the writer something that falls outside the boundaries of what was written and shared. But there’s a firm line between what is written and what is lived. Sometimes the best response to these speculations is to tell another story.
When my Modern Love piece “War Weary from a Dangerous Liaison” came out, a family member confronted my husband at a party: “How do you feel about this?” she asked — but it was more of a disapproving challenge than a legitimate question. I was standing next to him, blushing hotly, ready to say something about boundaries (see above) when my husband, a prince among men, said, “Did you read the essay? Because she married me.”
Readers, I did marry him. And I am perpetually happily grateful I did.
That said, here is “The Heart as a Torn Muscle,” published today by the magnificent Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction.
What a great reading at Politics and Prose! Thanks to Jenny Moore and Ru Freeman for sharing their work alongside me, and to Kerry Cohen for putting together the anthology Spent: Exposing Our Complicated Relationship with Shopping!
Staring next Sunday, 18 January, I’ll be co-leading a workshop at the National Cathedral: “Bread for the Journey: Writing as Spiritual Practice.”
Here’s a bit from their website:
Elizabeth Andrew in Writing the Sacred Journey says, “Our stories reveal holiness.”
Rachel Hackenberg calls it “praying with my pen.”
Anne Frank in The Diary of a Young Girl says, “I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.”
And Rainer Maria Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet, writes, “Be patient toward all that is solved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…”
There is strong precedent for writing as spiritual practice, and we hope you’ll come try it. This is a writing group for everybody, to help you tend to your spiritual life through eight writing sessions, January 18–March 8, 6:30–8:30 pm. (Reserving March 15th as a weather make-up date.) Using a variety of prompts, themes and reflective exercises, this class encourages participants to take time to reflect, consider, and listen to the Holy through the practice of writing. No experience necessary. Bring a journal and pen.
Click here for more information. Thanks!
One month from today, on Saturday 17 January at 1pm, I’ll be reading my essay from the anthology Spent: Exposing Our Complicated Relationship with Shopping at Politics and Prose! Ru Freeman and Jenny Moore will also be reading from the anthology. Here’s a bit about it:
From replacing that favorite old shirt to buying the perfect gift to just getting out of the house, what are we really looking for when we go shopping? In these brief essays, women discuss the roles shopping plays in their lives, and, for the most part, it’s less about the stuff than it is about relationships, distraction, or fresh starts. Join three of the contributors to discuss what it means to be a consumer today. (Seal Press)
Click here for more details.
Hope to see you there!
Happy (almost) Halloween!
If you’re looking for something appropriately dark to read, check out Shenandoah’s new Noir issue, including my essay, “Elegy for Dracula.” The Editor’s Note is a brilliant introduction to this work, whether you are new to noir or already an aficionado. A great issue all around!