I am a writer, teacher, and maker of things, currently living in rural Belgium, where I run a micropress and a tiny residency space for writers and artists. I’m also a 2016 NEA Fellow in creative writing (prose). My writing is represented by Jin Auh at The Wylie Agency.
Teaching supports and develops my creative practice; I have recently taught or lectured at Saginaw Valley State University, De Montfort University (UK), the University of Nottingham (UK), Ghent University (Belgium), the Loft Literary Center (US), and the Iowa Summer Writing Workshop (US). You can listen to me give a lecture about failure here.
I was born and grew up in Minneapolis, MN (US), and did my BAs (English, Japanese) and MFA (Creative Writing—Poetry; minor in Studio Arts), at the University of Minnesota. I had really excellent teachers and peers over those seven years. During this time I also spent time at the Scuola Internazionale de Grafica in Venice, Italy, where a Judd Fellowship provided me with the time to work on prints and poems.
In 2006 I moved to Dole, France, where I taught English at Lycée Charles Nodier. In the spring of 2007, my first book (Music For Landing Planes By) was published by Milkweed Editions. Later in 2007 I moved to Nottingham, UK, to write a PhD in Critical Theory. I wrote about love, affect, reading, and deconstruction, and was awarded the degree in 2013. Parts of the dissertation are (less academic) essays now—these are about crying, art, and language. And Barthes. And Derrida.
Her book, my second collection of poems, came out from Milkweed in summer 2013, and I organized a ten-city book tour for myself (funded by the sale of books). Information about how I did that is here (link temporarily out of service — June 2017). In November of that year my chapbook Sweetbriar came out from Dancing Girl Press.
As far as writing goes, I’m working on a novel that pivots doubly around the 2011 Touhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the Meiji-period (1873) adoption of the Gregorian calendar, replacing the historical Japanese calendar. If you’d like to read parts of it, here is “A Matter of Public Record” and here is “Object lessons” and here is “List of survivors“, and here is “Procedure for certification of death“. The title of the novel is 1873. I’m also working on a collection of essays about migration, domesticity, pictures, and plants.
A third collection of poems is forthcoming.