About

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I’m a poet, teaching artist, collaborator and creative mentor. I’m interested in how visual forms of poetry can shape our experience of public space, and remind us of what’s beautiful or interesting, often by interrupting our hurrying so that we can notice something otherwise invisible or small. In much of my current work, I’m thinking about how these moments provide respite from the ugliness of commerce and consumer culture.

In my role as an educator and mentor, I create spaces where ongoing inquiry, experimentation, and a spirit of solidarity support lives that include art and ideas. I bring perspectives, conversations, and practical support to those interested in making meaning, and moving forward in their creative lives. In these engagements, we are concerned with matters of process and craft, as well as the question of why we must persist in making art in our time. I serve as a manuscript mid-wife, by helping my clients birth small and large projects, whether they are books, installations, performances or a renewed studio practice.

At the heart, I’m interested in emboldening actions and work that values good thinking, slowness, a more mindful relationship with the natural word, and foregrounds art in all the forms it can take. I’m committed to helping others make work, and thrive, amidst the many social, technological and existential pressures of our time.

 

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I studied creative writing at University of Michigan and at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland. My poems, articles and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe NationMichigan Quarterly ReviewWitnessThe Ecologist, Talking River, Driftwood, and in the book We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism (Verso, 2003). My most recent collection of poems is Pilgrim (Alice Greene & Co., 2014). My first chapbook, The Grass Impossibly, was selected by poet Fleda Brown, and awarded publication by Michigan Writers Cooperative Press in 2008. With my husband, author Matt Rigney, I co-direct STORYhouse Partners and live in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.

Hear me talk about how I came to do what I do on this 15 minute podcast, recorded at FULFILLAMENT, a live storytelling event in which speakers tell their story of finding meaning and purpose through vocation.

 

Testimonials

“ Thank you so very much for the 21 Day Poetry Challenge. I opened many memories, explored a deeper consciousness, and am constantly in awe of reading poetry. Put me on your list for December’s class.  And I am talking this class up to my other poet friends. It would be fun to share your class with others.  Thank you again for your gifts.” S.G. , Retired Health care Provider

S.G.

“Every time I’m around you I learn something important to/for me. Often it’s new, sometimes not. You always remind me to honor the writing life and my place in it.” —S.O., Professor of Social Sciences

S.O.

“I cannot tell you how long I have ached to write. To really write. I have started and stumbled a thousand times. I feel over the last 7 or so months that I have grown as an artist and as a writer under your loving, kind, generous, patient, knowledgable, imaginative, and grounded guidance. Our work together means everything to me.” N.L., Health Care Provider

N.L.

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