I’m thrilled to have an essay in this anthology, Mothering through the Darkness: Women Open up about the Postpartum Experience, which is out in November and now available for pre-order.


If you or someone you know has struggled with depression during or after pregnancy, you’re not alone — and the 35 essayists in this anthology will assure you of that in 35 different ways. Click here to order, or just learn more. (If you order through this link, I get paid a little bit.)  Thanks!

My review essay (on Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity and An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace and other books and other things) is up at Alimentum!  It’s called “Revenge Baking” and you can find it here.

revenge baking photo

Thanks for reading!

My piece on Heidi Julavits’s The Folded Clock is up at Assay Journal‘s blog “In the Present Tense.”

Assay blog coverIt’s called “Taking My Time,” which is what I recommend you do with a book you love.

Thanks for reading!

My review essay “Many Ways of Seeing, Many Ways of Saying,” which covers three books by the excellent Eva Saulitis, is in the current issue of  Fourth Genre.

Fourth Genre spring 2015 cover

Fourth Genre is print only, but you can purchase individual essays from this issue here (pretty neat!).

If you want to read something instantly, you can check out my review of Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts up at The A.V. Club.  I found it a terrific blend of theory and story, with both thinking and narration that gets to the heart of things without pulling any punches.

The Argonauts cover

Thanks — as always — for reading!

I’m very pleased to have work in the brand new SFWP (Santa Fe Writers Project) Quarterly!


Moon and the Man” begins: “Everyone asked Neil Armstrong what it was like to walk on the moon. But how did the moon feel?”


Thanks for reading!

If you attended the “Digging Deep: Using Research in Creative Nonfiction” panel at Conversations and Connections today, here is my recommended reading list for hermit crab essays that (might) borrow their structure from research.  (And if you didn’t attend the panel, perhaps you’ll be interested in them anyway!)

My own work that I discussed (because I know for sure how research influenced the structures of these pieces!):

To help increase your powers of observation, try the quick-diary or X-page exercise (same content, slightly different form) from the excellent book Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry.  Then buy the book — it’s terrific!

Basic Quick Diary Format

Thanks to Brevity for this photo. Click on it to read the post that goes with it!


(I posted this the morning of the conference so you’d be able to see it right after (or even during!) the panel.  I’ll make any updates to this list this evening, but please feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments.  Thanks!)

As PANK‘s Reviews Editor I was part of a panel about women and book reviewing at this year’s AWP in Minneapolis.  It was called “Diversity in Reviews: Why Reviewing Matters” and my fellow panelists were Robin Becker, Camille-Yvette Welsch and Alyse Bensel.


Here is the last paragraph of my paper:

I want to leave you with this thought: I don’t want to discount love. Some books are assigned and some we choose based on a pre-publication description – almost like a classified ad – and the reading experience that follows can be lovely or a trial. But at least every so often I recommend reviewing a book you just plain love – especially if you are new to reviewing. I have one pitching strategy that has so far been 100% successful (and this is the strategy I used when I first started reviewing): I read a book from the new releases shelf at my local library, fall in love with it, and say so (and why) in my query letter. Love isn’t always rational (as so many stories remind us). Sometimes we should just fall, and then try to tell others the tale.


If you’ve really fallen in love with a book (one that was published within the last year, or one that’s at least ten years old for our “Books We Can’t Quit” series) and you want to review it for PANK, tell me the tale at randon@pankmagazine.com.