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I’m thrilled to announce that my lyric essay chapbook Devotional is out from Red Bird Chapbooks!

Devotional front cover

This brilliantly decorated star fold book opens to expose a simple beauty and the experience of longing in a series of personal devotions, its brevity and contemplative prose evocative of a medieval Book of Hours.  Each section of Devotional calls an image to the page in a language that is rich and full — a hand, a pine, storm clouds, swallowtails – within the structure of eight short hours, the reader is gifted with an increased awareness of the nature of the everyday world and the self through this small, meditative text.

The star binding looks like this:

Devotional star binding!

And you can order it here.

Thanks, as always, for your interest!

 

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I am thrilled to announce that my full-length essay collection, Be with Me Always, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in the spring of 2019!

 

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I’m pleased to announce that my author talk, “The Sparkling Future, the Eternal Present,” is up at Superstition Review’s blog.

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In it I read an excerpt from my essay “The Sparkling Future” and discuss the power of seduction, the price of betrayal, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, break-ups, beheadings, and what it’s like — as an essayist — to revisit not only your past work but your past self as well.

Thanks for listening!

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It begins with a quote from the Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet

“There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”

— and continues in 69 short numbered sections.

You can find it here: “69 Inches of Thread, Scarlet and Otherwise.”

Thanks for reading!

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I’m pleased to announce that I have two “Required Reading” columns in Creative Nonfiction:

CNF Marriage cover

Here’s an excerpt:

It’s often said that no one really knows what goes on inside a marriage except for the people who are in it—and I would argue that sometimes they don’t know, either. It takes a certain kind of honesty—and bravery—to talk (let alone write) about the inner workings of one’s own marriage. Perhaps for this reason, most of the stories we hear and read about marriage are told by outsiders, writers of fiction or biography who stand removed from its core.

But I suspect nonfiction can get us closer to the fascinating questions at the heart of any marriage—why two people come together, why one might stray, why one might stay, and why, in some cases, the couple splits.

Six recent books of creative nonfiction meet these challenges full on. They tell courtship stories, marriage stories, stories of affairs and divorces. But what I found most interesting about these books is that they also tell stories about storytelling itself, thinking hard about the way we think, talk, and write about marriage—to ourselves, to each other, and to others.

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In this column I ask notable nonfiction writers like Leslie Jamison, Ira Sukrungruang, Sarah Einstein, Steven Church, Zoe Zolbrod, Dinty Moore, and Megan Stielstra about their favorite nonfiction books from childhood and how these books may have influenced them as writers.

For me, it was The Young Detective’s Handbook, by William Vivian Butler, which had the intoxicating subtitle Learn How to Be a Super Sleuth: Send Secret Messages, Lift Fingerprints, Create Disguises, and More . . . . This book taught essential detecting skills, encouraged the formation of young-detective clubs to pool knowledge and maximize crime-solving success, and combined playful exercises with real-life tales of kids who cracked cases with little more than a pencil and their wits. It taught me, an only child with an overreaching sense of curiosity, to be observant, to pay attention, to remember, to investigate, and to write it all down. I never forgot. And these are the same tools I use to write creative nonfiction today.

Thanks for reading!

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My lyric essay “What of the Raven, What of the Dove” is up at Rappahannock Review!

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It begins, “A story was growing inside my neck but I didn’t yet know what it said.”  And it goes on to think about birds, health, children, Terry Tempest Williams’s When Women Were Birds, the future, and more.

Thanks for reading!

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I have two new reviews up at The A.V. Club:

Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy, by the esteemed Dinty W. Moore …

Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy cover

… and Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong — about cat videos!

CAT IS ART SPELLED WRONG

Thanks for reading!

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