“My medium is words, for sure. My style is eclectic. I love trying out new genres. I have published in creative nonfiction and memoir, and I’ve published in scholarly writing. Those are the main two areas that I’ve published in, but I love, love, love writing in all different types of genres. Under the more traditional ‘creative writing,’ I think my main genre is still memoir and creative nonfiction. What I love most are my more experimental pieces in that area – pieces that are kind of trying to find words and images for things that feel like they were so hard there are no words for them. I also love writing in humor. Some of the readings I’ve done have been humorous.
I teach at Goshen College. At a small, liberal arts college, you’re kind of asked to teach as much stuff as you possibly can, which I actually love. Much like I write in a lot of different genres, I love to teach in a lot of different genres. So I teach a lot of writing. I teach memoir, fiction, composition, and comics and graphic novels. I teach women’s and gender studies. Just a lot of writing, but also literature. American literature, especially.
I write about some hard stuff sometimes. My husband and I, our very first son was stillborn. As a writer, I just wrote my way through that. That was my best form of therapy. Some of the stuff I ended up publishing, because it gave me a sense of, ‘OK, I know I’m not alone in this, and this needs to be in the world.’ They’re still semi-humorous – I think dark humor definitely is important. I read some of that here in Goshen. I had to remind people at the beginning, ‘It’s OK to laugh. There are parts of this that are funny.’I love the Goshen creative community. I love that Goshen has pushed me to be a different type of writer than I might have been. There are so many creatives around here and so many cool events around here. It’s a small-enough community that you get to know people and people say, ‘Oh, you’re a writer, come to my reading.’ Goshen is so welcoming and so encouraging and so artsy. I’m an introvert at heart, but Goshen has pushed me – for the sake of a friend who’s having a reading, or something like that – to get out of my comfort zone. The community here is so positive and so encouraging and so productive, really. I think I’ve become a different and more versatile writer than I might’ve been in another place if I was just left to my own devices, just me and my coffee and my computer.”