My teaching, writing, community and consulting work form a tapestry stitched together by a continuous thread I have followed all my life related to notions of home and family, intimacy and connection, art and beauty, social inequalities, social justice, and social change. Learn more about my latest book Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption.
Writing with Heart
Though I was never formally trained in writing creative nonfiction, it is what I am most drawn to. So, in 2000, while I was working on my dissertation, I followed my passion and began studying memoir in earnest. I have taken many writing workshops including ones through: The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Grub Street Writers in Boston, Massachusetts, The Blue Hills Writing Institute (formerly in Milton, MA), Union Institute and University in Montpelier, Vermont, and The Sun Magazine Writers’ Conference.
I call what I do sociological memoir in that I draw on sociology which I know, love and trust to reveal structural underpinnings and patterns, and I draw on memoir to both illustrate memories and as a vehicle to interpret them. The analytical and interpretive properties of both—sociology and memoir—are quite similar. Sociology provides the conceptual, theoretical, and practical tools and vocabulary to explore the social forces that shape, support, complicate and constrain individuals’ choices and actions. Both sociology and memoir offer opportunities to analyze individuals’ relationships with social institutions and to question, reflect on, and put the pieces of our own lives together again.
Here is a brief summary of publications that I have been a part of and contributed to. I am also working on several book projects throughout the year.
“Understanding Gendered Violence,” in Social Studies of Gender: A Next Wave Reader, edited by Christine V. Wood, Cognella Academic Publishing. Forthcoming 2019.
“Violence, Rage, Creativity and the Re-birth of the Self,” in Violent States: Individual to International Creative States: Overcoming Violence. Editors: John Adlam, James Gilligan, Tilman Kluttig, Bandy X. Lee and John L. Young. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
“Rage and Activism: The Promise of Black Lives Matter” in Violence Against Black Bodies: An Intersectional Analysis on Why Black Lives Continue to Matter, edited by Sandra Weissinger, Dwayne Mack and Elwood Watson. Routledge. 2017.
“The Gold Pen,” essay in anthology titled, Letting Go: Feminist and Social Justice Insights and Activism, co-edited by Catherine Valentine and Donna King, Vanderbilt University Press 2015. The Utne Reader selected this chapter for reprinting and it ranked as one of their “most popular” articles on their website. View the article on the Utne Reader website.
“Patriarchy Encourages Violence Against Women,” in Violence Against Women, edited book by Karen F. Balkin, Greenhaven Press, Thomson/Gale, 2004.
Here is a brief listing of the journal articles I have worked on.
“It’s Time to Make Our Way Home: How Contingent Labor Practices Impact Transformative Possibilities of Teaching about Violence Against Women,” accepted for a special issue of Violence Against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal on transforming campus cultures and activism to end gender-based violence. Forthcoming 2019.
“Research on Violence Against Women: Creating Survivor–Informed Collaborations,” co-authored with Susan Fineran, Mary Gilfus, Lisa Hartwick, Susan Jensen, Robin Spath, Journal of Violence Against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal, October 1999, special issue on collaborative research on violence against women. (cited over 20 times according to Research Gate). View more details of the article and journal on the Journal of Violence Against Women website.
Here is a brief listing of the collections of poetry I have worked on.
“The Monday After Umpqua,” poem on gun violence and mass shootings featured in BANG!, an anthology. Over 700 poems were submitted and approximately 80 are being published. Forthcoming, Winter 2019.
“A Rage Against/ From the Female Body,” poem featured in the anthology, Purple Sparks: Poetry by Survivors of Sexual Assault, Youth Sparks, January 2016.