The Most Difficult Thing

If human beings could retain the trusting color blindness with which every one of us is born, we would never experience the fearful dehumanization that is the life blood of both racism and war.


My publicist told me to write in pictures. Actually, she said to start using Instagram to build up my social media following in advance of my novel’s release next spring. It makes no sense, I protested. I write in words: stories, essays, novels. Books are published in...

An MFA Love Letter to Goddard College

For the past dozen years, I’ve taught in Goddard College’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, and it’s been the most rewarding work of my life. Goddard is unlike colleges that operate hierarchically, with a pecking order of faculty “above” and students...

A Writer Unpacks the Kavanaugh Hearings

In some ways, Kavanaugh’s testimony was like every writer’s Shitty First Draft: there was true meaning buried in that mess, but it had yet to be exhumed. The advice I give to students who are struggling with their own first drafts is to Interrogate the Weird. That’s because weirdness usually signals something that deserves to be unpacked.
There was plenty of Weird in Kavanaugh’s testimony.

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