A native New Orleanian and current desert dweller, I am an essayist, narrative journalist, and creative nonfiction writer. I write about politics and pop culture, spirituality and sound, identity and place. In my creative work, I am interested in exploring issues of social justice and writing towards social change. At the heart of my creative process is a desire to learn and understand myself, others, and our world better. I attentively look and listen to others’ stories and my own. I ask hard questions, hold a critical lens, and look into the maw of the ways we see (or don’t see) and listen (or don’t listen) to one another. The best writing makes us feel something, and it makes us feel something because we understand—through narrative, through language, through a connective thread between us and the story being told—what it means to be human.
I am also an educator, editor, curator, and creativity usher. For nearly a decade, I taught creative writing and composition at the University of Arizona. I have also taught courses and workshops at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona Poetry Center and co-created a writing workshop series for future first-generation college students enrolled in the Student Expedition Program. I developed curricula for and taught writing workshops with incarcerated students at Tucson adult and juvenile detention centers and at state prison. One of my favorite roles is creativity usher: creating workshops both in physical spaces and in online communities for students to explore and enhance their creative and writing practices, and working with writers one-on-one as a writing coach and editor to help them access, mold, and shape their stories.
In 2012, I was awarded a New Works Artist Grant by the Tucson Pima Arts Council . The year before, I was honored as Lecturer of the Year by the Writing Program at The University of Arizona, where I have taught for eight years. I graduated with my MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Arizona in 2009 and during my time in the program, wrote a book-length manuscript entitled Vessels, which explores intersections of culture, language, and landscape and what it means to come from Cajun roots. Rooted in my love of language and bibliomancy, I created the online literary project The Dictionary Project, in which writers used a word bibliomanced from the dictionary as an impetus for new writing. I am currently working on a collection of essays on sound and silence.