Primarily, I write free verse poetry whereby I use traditional tools and techniques for that style: concrete imagery, figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification), catalog, and repetition. I adhere to 20th century poet William Carlos Williams’ axiom of “no ideas but in things.” In other words, “Show, don’t tell,” so I embrace the work of fellow American poets like Marge Piercy and Mary Oliver. Soul Cookies (High Tide Publications, 2019), my first collection of poetry, is the accumulation of some of my work written throughout decades. My children’s books, also released by High Tide, include Four Fairy Friends (2019), a coloring book (2020), and Cuatro Amigas Hadas (2020). An aid to fellow writers is How to Write with COLOR! (2020) which I have provided free to you on this website. The fairy adventures will continue this winter with Four Fairy Friends Celebrate Christmas. Targeted for 2021 are Azaleas in October, a chapbook of poetry I wrote in the aftermath of losing my son, and another sequel in the fairy saga, Four Fairy Friends Celebrate the Seasons. I am currently working on a second collection of free verse poetry and plan to continue the fairy series for children, as well as a few other projects.
I am a native of the Midwest but moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2004. I hold a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Education with a concentration in writing, both from Indiana University. Writing sporadically since childhood, I was finally motivated to write more when my daughter published a poem while she was still in grade school. From that point on, my writing career became more serious, and I began submitting work for publication.
My community of writers has grown throughout the years and now encompasses those from ages 17 through their 80s, for besides instructing students at the college level, I am also a member of local and state groups. I interact with two writing groups here in Williamsburg: the Williamsburg Poetry Guild and James City Poets. These fellow writers are invaluable to my own writing, for they provide honest and helpful feedback to my work, not to mention the support and collegiality we find among ourselves. In addition, I am an active member of the Poetry Society of Virginia (for whom I edit A Commonwealth of Poetry), and I am a member of the Chesapeake Bay Writers, the Virginia Writers’ Club, the Writers’ Guild of Virginia, the Poetry Society of Indiana, and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. I also subscribe to the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Arts Commission of Indiana to stay abreast of what’s going on in the larger writing community.
I have taught creative writing in Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Presently, I am an Adjunct Lecturer of English at the Historic Triangle Campus of Thomas Nelson Community College where I co-sponsor a monthly poetry reading. I have served as editor of Musepaper for the University of Louisville, co-editor for the IUS Review for Indiana University Southeast, and current editor of A Common Wealth of Poetry for the Poetry Society of Virginia. I have been a judge, presenter, reader, volunteer, and/or participant at many literary events over the years.
In 1995, I won first place in The Canadian Writers' Journal’s international poetry contest; in 2017, I was runner-up for Poet Laureate of Hampton Roads; and in 2020, I adjudicated two regional poetry events for the National Poetry Out Loud Contest. However, one of my greatest honors is that, in 2020, the Indiana Arts Commission selected three of my poems to include in its inaugural poetry archive INverse.
My first collection of poetry was successful and had wonderful reviews, and on its release, my children’s book surpassed Disney’s Frozen II on Amazon. The coronavirus pandemic put a halt to most writers’ book signings, so virtual events have been a tremendous aid. Hopefully, you’ll
join my journey. I have enjoyed writing throughout the years, and I am not finished yet. Sign up to follow where my writing takes me in the days to come.