Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Professional Title: M.F.A. Creative Writing Faculty
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Fiction
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Distance-Learning Courses:· Creative Writing I-IV · Craft and Reflection I-III· Graduating Seminar Preparation· Creative ThesisResidency Seminars:· Where You’re Going: Raymond Carver and the Malleability of Material· Courting the Muse· Driving a car at Night: Novel Writing as a Journey· Taking Milk From the Moon: An Overview of Fabulism
Education: B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature, State University of New York at Binghamton; M.F.A., Brooklyn College
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions:
The Giant Baby (2012)Before Elvis There Was Nothing (2005)Bingo Under the Crucifix (2002)Twinship (1999)Portrait of the Walrus by a Young Artist (1998)Ex Utero (1995)Work published in: Rougarou, The Rake, Great River Review, Quarterly West, Chelsea 64, Gulf Coast, The Greensboro Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Willow Review, Coe Review, Footwork, others.Memoir & book reviews published in: Twelve Breaths Per Minute, Bikini Magazine, Washington Post Book World,The Boston Globe, The Responsibility Project, others.
Teaching Philosophy: My philosophies regarding the teaching of writing are these: that the gateway to the unconscious must be opened, through habit and practice, in the production of creative material, or the writing cannot succeed. As a mentor, I ask students to describe the actual process that goes on in the writing of a story (or novel), and specifically how the story or novel idea came to be, how it germinated. Often stories succeed or fail when they are conceived in the rational part of the mind, or when the rational mind is too soon engaged.
I encourage students to risk themselves in their work, to be bold, for only in the act of risk can there be growth. The two years in an MFA program is in and of itself a permission slip, perhaps the one time they've been afforded to place writing in the center of their lives, and therefore students should use this time to try as many different styles as possible. In this way it is also important that they be exposed to many different types of writing, both contemporary and from the canon. In this way they are exposed to the many ways other writers approach the craft. What matters, I always tell students, is what has been gained in the process of taking risks.
Awards: Stanford Calderwood Fellowship, the MacDowell Colony; San Diego Current's Hot Tamale Award; Los Angeles Reader Top Ten Books of 1995; Village Voice Notable Books; Fellow, Sewanee Writers' Conference and Wesleyan Writers' Conference.
Current Affiliations: B.F.A. Faculty, Goddard CollegePast Affiliations: Lesley University's Lesley Seminars; Bentley College; Writers @ Work Conference.
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