Hi! I’m an Associate Professor of English at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where I teach creative writing, digital literature, and the occasional course on zombies. My stories have been published in The Normal School, Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, and The Gettysburg Review. A non-fiction piece, “shrinking the monster,” won the Diagram Essay Prize in 2013. Excerpts from my current project, the novel-in-progress The Paradox of Wonder Woman’s Airplane, have won national competitions from Summer Literary Seminars and the New Ohio Review; others excerpts have appeared in The Collagist, the Los Angeles Review, and most recently, the 2018 Masters Review anthology.
My first book of stories, Two Californias, was published by C&R Press in 2019. (ORDER NOW!!!) Quirky, bittersweet, and darkly funny, Two Californias laces the psychological realism of family drama with lyric, associative language and intricate plot structures. A young boy goes on a quest to buy an elephant pendant that he believes will save his parents’ marriage. An anarchist, channeling his rage from his father’s premature death, starts an underground needle exchange program. Trapped between his alcoholic pharmacist boss and his best friend, who is illegally trafficking Ritalin, a teenager learns empathy through Ms. Pacman and elder care homes. From the suburbs of Los Angeles to the countercultures of the Bay Area, the emotionally powerful, intricately woven stories in Two Californias explore the unexpected and unorthodox ways we come to terms with everyday tragedies
There are past incarnations of me. I received my M.A. in Performance Art from San Francisco State University and my Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah, where I studied with the fiction writers Lance Olsen and Melanie Rae Thon. Before that, the undergraduate years at Berkeley, where I lived in a (more-or-less) anarchist cooperative (those who know, don’t tell). Also, another life entirely, the ten years living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I currently live with my partner Anne in Rochester, NY, where I spend most of my time looking out the window in search of foxes.
photo credit: Emily Patten