I am instinctively drawn to reading and writing literature where reality is just a little off the beaten track.  It’s not exactly fantasy; it’s more like magic realism, where the unconscious world takes form and shape, and ideas walk, talk and breathe, and where the language is taut that it bounces you like a trampoline into a slightly altered state, or like you’ve take a low dose of acid. I’m drawn to quirky, gently absurd, slightly dark humor, but never nihilism.

This penchant stems from a childhood of traveling. My parents were English professors and often did year-long exchanges where we were immersed in the cultures of Germany, Israel, and Chile. In the summers, my large family of five kids piled into a teal-and-cream-striped camper van and traveled all over Europe. Wish we’d had that van when we drove literally halfway around the world from Santiago Chile home to Upstate New York. My first novel Blue Woman Burning tells a fictional version of that mystical trip in a Dodge Dart sedan through the Altiplano, sleeping on the ground under the stars, with all our clothing packed into one suitcase.

Though I wrote from a young age, I suffered from severe writer’s block most of my adult life. It has been a thrill to overcome that block and surrender to my desire to write fiction. Being ADHD is also my superpower, prompting me to explore hybrid genres. That’s why I will never be the market’s favorite cash cow; I’m not easily pigeonholed.

I have been a full professor of writing since 1993 and founded the visiting author series, The Writers Project, with five years of funding from NEA. In 2018, I was promoted to Distinguished Professor and received the Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity.

I recently signed a four book contract with Red Penguin Books. My magical realist book of short stories, Strange Appetites, is due out on October 2021 and my novel, Blue Woman Burning is due out in November 2021. My stories have appeared in The North American Review, Eclectica, and The Collagist among others.  I was was a finalist for the Franz Kafka Award issued by Doctor T.J. Eckleburgh Review as well as the Black Lawrence Chapbook Contest of 2015 and The Talking Writing Award for humorous writing advice. My story “The Opal Maker” was named top fifty of 2015 very short fiction publications by Wigleaf.

Strange Appetites was named People’s Choice Award for 2016 by Adirondack Center for Writing. I also collaborated on the novel Feeding Christine by Barbara Chepaitis (Bantam 2001) and wrote the libretto for Billy and Zelda, an opera commissioned and performed by OperaDelaware.

I graduated from Oberlin College and earned my Doctor of Arts in writing at the University at Albany.

1 thought on “About”

Leave a Reply