How to be Relentless

On Diversity and the Canon

I was listening to this broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio a while back about summer reading lists. Part of the discussion revolved around whether lists should focus on classics or on books like Nancy Drew and Harry Potter. Someone called in and wanted to know essentially whose classics. The classic works of people of color, […] Read more

Why Reading Matters

I listened to this speech by Dana Goia, president of the National Endowment for the Arts at the Aspen Ideas Festival, on MidDay, Gary Eichten’s show on Minnesota Public Radio.Goia says that people who read have more civic engagement than people who don’t. This is even true when income and education are controlled for.I also […] Read more

Workshop: Writing Mental Illness

I found out today I’ll be teaching a workshop on Writing Mental Illness this fall here in Minneapolis at Intermedia Arts, the new home of SASE: The Write Place. I don’t know the date yet, but will let y’all know that and any other pertinent info as soon as I know […] Read more

The Fourth Genre?

Creative nonfiction is at once one of the most dynamic movements in contemporary letters, and a literary genre with its roots deep in the literature of the past. – Stonecoast MFA ProgramAs a writer who is working on a memoir, I’ve taken the stability of creative nonfiction, the fourth genre for granted. Of course there […] Read more

Open Mic Thursday Night / Professional Jealousy

Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert EinsteinI was at ep atelier’s spoken word open mic Thursday night. I read the prologue to the novel I just started. I refer to it as the new novel to distinguish it from the old novel, which is […] Read more

Joan Didion | The Year of Magical Thinking

First off, I won’t be coy. I liked it. A lot. I love how Joan Didion kept repeating certain phrases throughout The Year of Magical Thinking, such as cool customer, and life changes fast. That imbued the phrases with layers of meaning. Repetition is a technique I’ve used a lot in poetry and less frequently […] Read more

Just What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

Writing Mental Illness, the blog, enables people who have experienced mental illness either personally or as a family member to create literature about psychiatric disability by examining successful writing on the issue such as Girl, Interrupted or The Bell Jar, taking on craft issues from a creative writing perspective and looking to other art areas […] Read more

Just Who Am I, Anyway?

About ten years ago, my father told me I was a death poet, and I pretty much agreed. It was the truth as I understood it. When I wasn’t writing about death; well, I was never not writing about death.Now, I’m mostly writing about mental illness, but it isn’t as catchy to call myself a […] Read more

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