Dear Ones, THE SYRIA DISPATCHES, my short book of letters home from my summer spent connecting with Syrian refugees in Turkey and Syria, is now live and available for purchase on Amazon!  Here’s the link. I wasn’t planning on making it available beyond the copies for my Kickstarter donors, but I got inquiries from professors I’ve never met before, so here it is in all its purchase-able glory, for five bucks! I am currently […]

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§1134 · July 29, 2015 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Dear ones, To anyone interested in my SYRIA work and refugee advocacy: Sweden has allowed Syrian refugees permanent residency — the only country to do so. For the next week I’ll be in Stockholm to track down the Syrian refugee diaspora there. If you’d like to support that work and read my writing about it, support me at my Patreon page! We all know the Syria conflict hasn’t gotten any better; meanwhile, Syrians are trying […]

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§1127 · July 14, 2015 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Dear Ones, I’m beyond thrilled to share the news that my poem, “For My Aspirated”, has won Bellingham Review‘s 49th Parallel Award for Poetry.  Here is the press release. Poetry contests have often struck me as the longest shot there is in the literary world. I got into more poetry MFAs than fiction ones, but when I chose to attend a fiction one because it was where the most funding for the most time […]

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§1116 · June 11, 2015 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


  Hello all! I realize I haven’t done an update here for around a year. Perhaps that’s because my previous post about the U.S. government flying me to Suriname for a week to lead workshops and present on my work was such a dream that I didn’t want it to be over! Here is the Huffington Post piece I wrote to commemorate the experience of presenting in Suriname a year later, for Women’s History […]

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§1085 · May 1, 2015 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Dear Ones, Since my last post, I have been to Suriname and back!  I went under the auspices of the U.S. State Department’s U.S. Speakers program.  (Here is the official press release.)  I was invited as part of the U.S. Embassy’s Women’s History Month programming.  I spent five days in three different districts of Suriname, giving creative writing workshops to high school students, lecturing social workers on the benefits of theater for at-risk youth, and […]

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§972 · April 26, 2014 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Dear All, I am honored to be interviewed over at The Rumpus, which has been one of my favorite places one the web to go ever since I began reading Cheryl Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” column in 2010.  The amazing Heather Fowler at Fictionaut also interviewed me recently. As if these were not enough of a blessing, the United States State Department has invited me to Suriname for a week in March under […]

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§952 · January 17, 2014 · Uncategorized · (2 comments) ·


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§935 · November 27, 2013 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Exciting press updates on my first book, The Survival Girls:   The Survival Girls has been excerpted in the Daily Beast’s “Book Beast” and “Women in the World” section! Nick Kristof’s awesome Half The Sky Movement tumblred it and listed it in its “worthwhile books to read” section! Michael Solis, my Luce partner in crime, wrote about it on the Huffington Post; The Best American Poetry blogged it; Glimmer Train ran another essay about it too, to complement the one […]

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§916 · November 25, 2013 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Dear Ones, The phenomenal Stacey, who helms the Best American Poetry book series blog, has written a lovely and generous blog post about the release of my e-book, The Survival Girls.  I’m so grateful to her for the support, and hope you spend some time with the blog.  It’s one of the foremost forums we have for contemporary public discourse around literature and what it does, and the people who make it […]

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§899 · November 3, 2013 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·


Dear Ones, Please forgive the radio silence — I’ve largely been over at the website of my first book, The Survival Girls!  Please take a look at the site and consider spending time with the book.  All proceeds from sales are for the girls themselves. After a wonderful, heartbreaking, heartfilling summer spent everywhere from Nicaragua (youth empowerment efforts) to Syria and Turkey (visiting refugee camps) to Nairobi (working with the Survival Girls again), I […]

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§896 · October 31, 2013 · Uncategorized · (No comments) ·