M.F.A., Creative Writing, New York University
B.A., Purdue University
Courses Frequently Taught:
English 101: Introduction to Creative Writing
English 170: Exile to Expatriate: Literature From Displacement
English 201: Writing Fiction
English 220: Intricate Enchantment: On Science in Literature
English 301: Seminar in Creative Writing—Fiction (Interrelated Short Stories)
English 301: Seminar in Creative Writing—Fiction (Writer as Explorer: On Personal Preoccupations)
Writer-in-Residence, The Kerouac Project of Orlando, 2006
James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow, Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 2005-2006
Selected Publications & Presentations:
— Short fiction published in Willow Springs, Los Angeles Review, The Briar Cliff Review, North Dakota Quarterly and other literary journals.
—“Before the First Draft: Cultivating Inspiration and Creative Insight in the Classroom,” Creative Writing Studies Organization Conference, Black Mountain, NC, 2017.
— “Writer as Explorer: On Following Personal Preoccupations in Fiction.” The Creative Writing & Innovative Pedagogies Conference, Univ. of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO., 2015.
— “Escape” in Mind the Gap, a collaborative portfolio between writers and printmakers exhibited at SGC International Conference, Milwaukee, Wis., 2013.
— “The Lure and Limitations of First Person.” The Writer June 2012: 13.
— “Crazy With Song: Discovering Story in Southern Sudan.” Poets & Writers January / February 2009: 39-44.
— “Revision.” The New Writer's Handbook 2008: A Practical Anthology of Best Advice for Your Craft and Career. Minneapolis: Scarletta Press, 2008. 49-51.
— “Character: Casting Shadows.” Writing Fiction. New York: Bloomsbury, 2003. 25-51.
Professional and Personal:
My fiction is often a result of my inclination to satisfy a curiosity. I find that experience and close observation are the most direct path to genuine understanding, and my fiction is often grounded in this kind of extensive exploration. As a teacher, I encourage creative writing students to cultivate a willingness to experiment, to take risks and try new techniques, and, as a result, learn through their own writing and thoughtful investigation of the drafts they produce. Close reading and consideration—as a writer and a reader—give students the opportunity to practice an essential kind of thinking. I hope students leave the classes I teach with not only a deeper understanding of the craft of writing, but also the ability to dwell in uncertainty while sorting through the complexities of the human experience.