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poetry is bliss

Writer and Teacher

Ink and Ink and Flesh and Length, a collection of 100-word prose poems, is forthcoming through London’s the Black Spring Press Group. In 2019 the manuscript was shortlisted for the Sexton Prize for Poetry.

I have won more than 35 highly competitive grants and awards in Arts and Education, with individual allocations ranging up over $45,000. This grant work has been interwoven with a teaching career focused on supporting underserved communities (predominantly Pell-qualified and first-generation college students). Leaving teaching, I have now turned that passion for equity into grant writing in areas of Arts, Social Justice, and Education. Currently, the Loyola Marymount University certificate course in Grant Writing and Nonprofit Management Training (20 unit, 600 hour) sharpens my knowledge of best practices, as does the Freelance Writers Den.

Creating access for underrepresented and at-risk students was my impetus for teaching. My teaching life gave me the opportunity to do just that. I concluded teaching at the top of my game, leaving what U.S. News & World Report calls “the best public university in the world,” UC Berkeley. My accelerated writing classes were primarily composed of underrepresented students who needed extra support, and in my classes they gained the skills to flourish. 100% of my students in my last classes said they would “recommend this instructor to others.” The average between the instructor related competency statistics’ means were 6.28 out of 7 (6.28 /7). To put this in context, the UC Berkeley average overall score is 5/7. Both of my supervisors are references, and have written glowing recommendations. My move forward is with a goal to help more people through successful grant awards. Grant writing invites me with its continual call for research, puzzle solving, collaboration, and clear goal-focused writing.

Immediacy, intelligibility, heart, and depth that unfolds in multiple readings; this is what my poetry strives for. Precision of image, narrative, and language are central.  My work has won Canada Council Arts Grants and Eisner Prizes among other honors.  Six Months’ Rent (Black Moss Press), Pregnant Poems (Black Moss Press), Into the Peculiar Dark (Mercury Press & bpNichol Foundation), and The Exit Show (Palimpsest Press) are my full-length published poetry books. when the light of any action ceases (Finishing Line Press) is my recent poetry chapbook. I completed interdisciplinary American Literature and Culture doctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley.

I am at LinkedIn here, Facebook here, Cinnamon Girl here, and UC Berkeley here.

A May 2017 interview in Night Music Journal is here.

Photo by Misha Bruk.