I am a writer of essay, memoir and local history. My vocation as a writer is to testify about what I know of life, especially where the particular meets the universal and private and public intersect. I think of myself as the solo voice rising out of the chorus, singing candidly about experiences that are somewhat unusual–though certainly not unique to me–and thus easily misperceived. I write about being invisibly but chronically ill, an internationally adoptive parent, an unexpectedly single mother, a working-class kid away from home, a third generation Danish American, and a proud Midwesterner.
I have been teaching creative non-fiction writing for 20 years, primarily at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. My job as a teacher is to help the student identify the passion driving the work, find an authentic and sustainable voice, and craft the prose style and structure that can best carry the story to be told or the idea to be examined. I take my students’ work seriously and regard it with “loving rigor.”
I have a Ph.D. in Scandinavian languages and literatures from the University of Chicago, and I live in Minneapolis, 100 miles north of my hometown, Albert Lea, Minnesota. My family includes two adult daughters and one aging labrador.
Welcome to my website.