Through all of my projects, a commitment to creative communication forms the foundation of my work. I focus on the essential need people have to communicate effectively, compassionately, and artistically whether as a creative writer, a teacher, a marketer, an editor, a copywriter, or in my public relations work.
The seeds of my writing life were planted when I began studying and writing poetry in high school. I was initially inspired by reading the Beat Poets and soon found a home in a thriving poetry community centered around the Mountain Lodge #6 café in Georgetown. I continued studying poetry and literature through my years at Beloit College and on to Pennsylvania State University where I received an MFA while working with poets C. S. Giscombe, Robin Becker, and James Brasfield.
In the years after Penn State, I published dozens of poems in literary journals and magazines and gave poetry readings at bookstores and universities across the country. In 2007, Carolina Wren Press published my first book, Key Bridge, a book-length poem about the intersections of history, geography, and ethnic identity in Washington, DC, as filtered through my experience growing up in and around the city.
In 2012, I turned from poetry to fiction and began my first novel. Titled The Accountant, it is about an accountant in Boston who has to count one million potatoes. The book is set in a world that is similar to but not quite our own. I worked intently on The Accountant at several writing residencies, including the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Playa Artist Fellowship Program, and the Brush Creek Arts Foundation, and revised the early drafts with help from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences. I completed the manuscript in 2016, and I am currently shopping it around to agents and publishers.
In addition to my creative writing work, I have taught literature and writing at Guilford College, UNC-Greensboro, Salem College, and Penn State. The courses I taught focused on the rudiments of writing, rhetoric, surveys of American and British literature, and introductory and advanced creative writing. For several summers, I also taught contemporary philosophy and interdisciplinary research (a.k.a Area II) in North Carolina’s excellent Governor’s School program.
I have always found teaching edifying and inspiring. I love discovering course material fresh through my students’ eyes and finding ways to engage each of my students personally. I am eager for more opportunities to teach, and I offer one-on-one tutoring and coaching in scholarly, business, and creative writing, reading comprehension, literature in English, English as a second language, and SAT and ACT preparation. I also offer group creative writing classes on a regular basis.
For eight years until 2014, I worked in arts marketing as the marketing director for both the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art and Duke Performances at Duke University. As marketing director for both of these organizations, I created and managed all aspects of our brand identity, including websites, social media, email campaigns, targeted advertising, blogs, direct mail pieces, on-site collateral, print and broadcast advertising, press engagements, and press releases.
In addition to my own creative writing, I spent many years promoting the work of other writers. In 2002, I founded the Desert City Poetry Series, an organization which presented monthly poetry readings featuring a poet from afar with a national reputation and a poet based in North Carolina, where the series was held. Poets featured in the series include Claudia Rankine, John Taggart, Rosmarie Waldrop, Ed Roberson, Emmanuel Hocquard, Sarah Manguso, Ron Silliman, C. S. Giscombe, Cole Swensen, Lee Ann Brown, Camille Dungy, Lisa Jarnot, Julian Semilian, Evie Shockley, and Carl Martin.
In 2004, I helped create and organize a poetry group based in Chapel Hill called the Lucifer Poetics Group. Also known as Lucipo, the group held irregular writing workshops and readings over several years and embarked on occasional east coast reading tours. An online element of the community existed via the Lucipo listerv hosted by ibiblio at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Always eager to expand my horizons, over the last several years, I have performed as a drummer in various Durham-based rock groups including knives, a heavy rock trio, and Prisms, a multimedia psychedelic rock quartet. In 2009, I founded the 715 Washington Street art and performance space in Durham where I created large-scale art installations.
For the last eight years, I have maintained a daily meditation practice in the Vipassana tradition as taught by Satya Narayan Goenka. More recently I have begun brewing my own delicious kombucha, and I recently started my first jun culture. I am also a life long backpacker, camper, and hiker.
Whether writing, teaching, organizing, or editing, I bring a rich array of talents, experience, and enthusiasm to all of my projects. I look forward to working with you.