One of the things I find most exciting about teaching—and about writing—is the process of discovery. As a writer, I believe deeply in connecting with the unconscious mind in the drafting process, in getting at what Robert Olen Butler has called, “the white hot center of you.” In my teaching, I find the discussion of process to be essential and find immense satisfaction in helping writers to discover what is inside each of them. I was fortunate to have the guidance of experimental writers as a graduate student, which was a serendipitous piece of good fortune. There I was encouraged to continue to push my work in a non-traditional direction, which I’ve often said might have happened on its own, naturally, but was certainly sped by their sensibilities and guidance. While I don’t advocate for experimentation for its own sake, I do encourage writers to take risks—to be bold—for it is only through risk that we can experience growth. These risks can of course happen within the realistic tradition, and I continue to find bearing witness to a student’s growth one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching.
In September of 2012, my sixth book of fiction, The Giant Baby, was published by Open Door Gemma Media, and my seventh novel, The Blue Girl, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press. Currently I live on Long Island with my husband and two children; I also teach in the low residency MFA program at Lesley University.