Residency Artist - Creative Writing
190 Perry Drive NW
Canton, OH 44708
Phone: (330) 479-7132
I am a creative writer of poetry, prose, and translations. In residencies, I like to help students find themselves and make connections to others through words. And I like to integrate other disciplines into the writing we do -- for example, writing about science or math or writing in foreign languages. I have experience working with all ages, from pre-kindergartners to adults, and in most settings, from rural and suburban to urban -- in schools, museums, prison, and parks. In one residency in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, middle school students wrote about their experiences with the natural environment and presented some of that writing in broadsides and readings. However, I am also comfortable in urban settings, and in a Cleveland residency, I brought in bilingual parents to read poetry from their native languages. I think it is important to have a plan for the residency, but to be ready to write about the unplanned moments that happen too: snow, school tragedies, and sudden good news.
My third book of poems The Places We Find Ourselves came out in 2009, and I am now writing essays about my family's experience with cancer and about my 18 years teaching in prison, using journals from the past four decades of my life, including my fourth grade diary. I am revising my family musical, Talk to the Moon, which has been performed by the Findlay Youth Theatre. Finally, I am working to present poetry on the internet in a variety of way, including sound and video.
I have been writing since I was ten years old and publishing my work for over 36 years now, including four chapbooks of poems and hundreds of print and online journal and anthology publications of poetry, prose, and translations. I studied writing and literature in both Spanish and English at Otterbein College and at Cleveland State University, where I obtained a BA and MA, respectively, but I learned most about writing poetry from public workshops. I have received two Ohio Arts Council Individual Fellowships in Poetry, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, a Sears Foundation Award for Teaching, and a Fulbright award. I have just moved back to Ohio, after 10 great years of living on the coast of Massachusetts, and I am very glad to be home.