WHAT I BELIEVE
The teaching of creative writing should:
- be inclusive to contemporary writers of diverse backgrounds and identity expressions;
- be student-centered, free verse, generative, and reflective to empower students to view themselves as writers;
- emphasize rhetoric and the dynamic of audience awareness and intentional language choices;
- emphasize process over product; and
- have a more active role in partnerships, both in the classroom among writing groups and with community groups to share resources or opportunities.
INFLUENCES + Resources
marty mcconnell + the gathering voices approach
(1) We value the potential, the experience, and the perspective each person brings. This is reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes.
(2) We approach poems not as broken things in need of fixing, nor as objects of like or dislike, but as subjects of study and analysis, artworks whose possibilities we get to unpack.
(3) We come ready to work, eager to engage, and committed to creating a positive, challenging environment for everyone.
- Curiosity about new perspectives, approaches, and possibilities;
- Receptivity to ideas, to art, to each other;
- Joy in the work and in the community; and
- Rigor in our approach to growth, both our own and other people’s.
huey + kaneko, poetry: a writer’s guide and ANTHOLOGY
Not only is writing a practice, but the practice of writing is a muscle we strengthen through habitual reading and writing *and* a rhetorical practice that includes intentional language choices.
michael kardos, the art and craft of fiction
Being a writer means paying attention to the world around you, discovering and developing a focused study and guided practice of description and storytelling.
My writing program initiatives amplify emerging and marginalized voices, and offer free access to education and resources. We aim for student empowerment in which the process of discovery is foundational. We discuss how to explore our poetry to discover opportunities for crafted language. We talk about what poetry can do and how to listen, rehearse, revise, and perform.
Syllabi and lesson plans for introductory writing courses. Much like ourselves, writing is fluid and organic––and my philosophy of art, practice, process aims to demystify the standardization of final products as fixed. Students focus attention to craft mechanics and rhetorical value together as a foundation for their learning experience. They discuss writing as a social and rhetorical act, as an artistic process, and as something that gets better with guided practice.
Most recently, I’ve received recognition as a Melissa Grunthrow Fellow for Women and Non-Binary Writers at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and as a Semi-Finalist for the Gazing Grain 2018 All-Genre Chapbook Contest for The Metamorphosis of Narcissus. I’ve also received academic and creative writing honors, including being selected as student writer for several Axton master class workshops and participating in Rhetoric and Composition pedagogy discussions and conferences.
I like to read for inclusive and diverse journals that advocate for the experimental. I excel with a team invested in discussions concerning the core of journal operations (design, communications, etc). I’ve been a Student Editor for The Louisville Review, Poetry Editor for Lemon Star Mag, and Graduate Editor of Miracle Monocle.
I like to encourage visibility, inclusivity, and empowerment for all writers at any stage of their writing experience. I invest in dialogue and in discovering more about who the writers are as individuals and as a group. I excel in a work environment that encourages enthusiasm, collaboration, and service.
creative collaborations + projects
Banner Art Installation Project
#KnowMoore Cultural Dialoguers
MFA Reverse-Ekphrasis w/ Aaron Lubrik
Community Literacy Programs + Initiatives
“In Other Words” Poetry workshop, Reading, + Exhibit
“Every word is connected to other words, to history, to culture, to how we see.” –Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within
In this workshop, I asked writers to reflect on what’s a vote worth. And what poetry can do. I asked what art has been formed out of oppression and necessity.
We reflected on what it means to have a voice. To be silenced. We reflected on boundaries and spaces; how to symbolize, characterize, or, in other words, describe and manifest their own voice as a national voice. How to connect across divides.
We read poems by Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Elizabeth Alexander, Julie Marie Wade, Ada Limón, and more. We experimented with form: ars poetica, persona, ekphrasis, inauguration poems, and collaborative writing. We discussed erasure as a conversation, as silencing, and as voicing from the margins of a dominant narrative. We explored what stories might be missing from our own histories.
We talked about designs where voting is difficult and/or inaccessible; particularly those that are associated with marginalized communities; such as felon voting, what places even qualify as voting areas, where they disperse the polls, private places that don’t have to adhere to the disabilities act, immigrant ID and documentation, etc. We wrote about resistance. And hope.
Much gratitude to Amy Miller of Louisville Literary Arts, Sharon Scott of ArtXFm WXOX, and our sponsor Kentucky Humanities for this powerful experience.
I am blown away by Jodi’s poem that fuses academic analysis, sci-fi film, and the grotesque abstraction of a subject that is creeping and lurking and in the static of our necklines: monsters in our everyday experience. Jodi is a fierce and creative thinker and poet.
Kay Shamblin. I so very much admire the questioning and infolding of a clear voice that is tense and visceral. With surprising and surreal associations, I find myself reading and rereading Kay’s writing. The poems fully embrace the harshness and softness of a continuing need to speak on violences we experience. The titles are also fabulously weird & immediately grab me as a reader.
Andrea Hansen’s poem calls to us via mantra-like repetition, evoking stronger and more nuanced images and connections each time. Andrea’s writing is vulnerable and imaginative.
Izzy Wilson’s writing explores a hybrid identity and how silence is a type of horror. She offers specific and detailed narratives, allowing a once-silenced collective and diverse national voice speak its pain through her words. I am impressed by the reach of Izzy’s poetic voice.
Katy Harvey’s writing is meditative and philosophical. Her poems beautifully illustrate symbolism for silencing and the importance of words, and how language is active and dynamic.
I am humbled by Diane Cruze and her ability to reach into history to connect across time. In one poem, Diane reflects on a photograph of suffragists and relates it to current movements and marches, down to the details of hats they wore. Diane’s poems remind us that we are all part of a legacy, and that is our power.