I was born in Chicago in 1960, and we moved to the suburbs of Detroit when I was four. My first awareness of poetry came from Dr. Seuss and a book called Hailstones and Halibut Bones that I was introduced to in second grade by a teacher I will never forget: Kathleen Doughty. I’m sure that growing up in a household of artists (Mom and Dad both) also contributed to my poetic sensibilities.
I received my BA in Art History from Vassar College—where I studied poetry with Nancy Willard and Brett Singer—and an MA in Art History from the University of Michigan. I spent more than two decades as an art museum educator, helping people of all ages recognize their own creativity and the transformative power of art.
After living on the east coast and then the west coast, I returned to the Midwest in 2002. I currently live in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where I make my living as a grant writer. I continue to blend my interests in visual art, poetry, and public spaces to create venues in which people can share their voices. I’m an organizer for 100 Thousand Poets for Change, which brings diverse voices together annually across the globe. In 2016, I was awarded Vassar’s Time Out Grant for my project to build a children’s reading garden at a school in Malawi. Visit the “Projects” tab for an update on this project.
Even though I am currently in the midst of revising my first novel, poetry is always present in my life. From 2010 to 2020, I was the founding poetry and arts editor of Stoneboat Literary Journal. Since 2008, my poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Barstow and Grand, Big Muddy, Blue Heron Review, Bramble, Forge, Mom Egg Review, Moss Piglet, New Verse News, Portage, Red Fez, Seems, Verse Wisconsin, and Wisconsin People and Ideas. In 2020, I was named the first poet laureate of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Most recently, I’ve been included in three anthologies, Through This Door, (2020), Sheltering with Poems: community and connection during covid, (2021), and Hope is the Thing: Wisconsites in Perseverance in a Pandemic, (2021). I have been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and I’ve published four chapbooks. You can read a sample of my work at the “Poetry” tab above and also check out my book list at “Books.”
As I get older, I have become aware that my mission in life is to connect, appreciate, and share compassion with all through poetry and activism.
About my Blog
I named my blog, “Frying the Onion,” because Dad once told me that whenever he felt lonely or out-of-sorts, he would grab an onion and fry it up. Soon, the smell would seep through the entire house, and this warm, comforting smell would take over his senses. Soon, he would begin to feel much better. My hope is that whatever you may need to feel a little bit better about life will be stirred here and lifted up by my words as they waft on the delicious aroma of onions frying in butter.