I am currently an Instructor of English at the University of Alabama. From 2017-22 I worked as an Adjunct Instructor of Women’s Studies, Writing Center Tutor, and Adjunct Instructor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an Annual Adjunct Instructor of English at the University of Cincinnati at Clermont. Before these positions, I taught post-AP literature courses at Indian Springs School, a competitive private high school where elective English courses were designed to mimic 200-300 level college courses. There, I taught Experimental Literature, World Literature, Feminist Literature, and Wilderness Literature, led the Poetry Out Loud team, served as the school librarian, sat on committees, and advised the student newspaper.
I received an M.F.A. from Miami University, where I specialized in poetry and memoir, studying with Hoa Nguyen and Laura Van Prooyen. I studied in the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo from 1998-2005, receiving my B.A. in English and Comparative Literature and my M.A. in Comparative Literature and studying under Charles Bernstein, Robert Creeley, Susan Howe, Myung Mi Kim, Steve McCaffery, Joan Copjec, and Henry Sussman, among others; I also founded the undergraduate literary magazine. I completed my M.L.S. (Library Science) at Buffalo in 2010 and I have worked as a librarian and English teacher, simultaneously and alternately, since 2001.
I started taking graduate-level Poetics Program courses as a sophomore in college at SUNY Buffalo and graduated with a B.A. summa cum laude in English and Comparative Literature: Language Theory, a special major that embraced world literature, philosophy, and digital humanities. I worked as an archivist at the Poetry Collection at Buffalo, digitizing James Joyce’s Ulysses manuscript and coding for the digitization of Mark Twain’s manuscripts. This work led me down forking paths: I pursued an M.A. in Comparative Literature (directed by Henry Sussman, my thesis, "Sonic Territories: Deleuze and the Politics of Sound in Kafka and Duras," includes discussions of experimental classical music and film) and I later received my M.L.S., concentrating on metadata problems for artists’ books and digital libraries. My work across these fields has continued to the present. I work part-time at Canada's Humanities and Social Sciences Commons, a digital repository. As a freelance web designer, I designed the website for the massive digital humanities project Unbinding Prometheus, a multimedia exploration of Percy Shelley’s work formerly housed at the University of Pennsylvania, and I edit and design books as a freelancer. I have continued to publish book reviews, speak at conferences, peer-review (for Art Documentation), and write book chapters across fields.
I have three books of poetry that combine ideas from experimental visual poetry, memoir, and the visual arts. I grew up studying drawing and painting and love going to art museums and studying art history. As a visual poet, I want to use the whole space of the page and approach it like a kind of a blend between painting and poem, in that the words are usually arranged roughly left-right, top-bottom, but not entirely. I see the space of the page as already having a certain “weight,” like it’s not a blank/silent space, and that concept was molded for me by John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, and Steve McCaffery. I was also inspired, early on, by installation art, which along with sculpture is still what excites me the most: I want the audience to physically participate in the making of the object. my first book, Organic Furniture Cellar (Outside Voices, 2006), is a combination of forms and is a kind of travelogue. My second book, Life-List (Chax Press 2015), catalogs birds and birdsong as mnemonic devices for life events. My most recent book, How to Know the Flowers (Veliz Books 2019), is a trauma-informed memoir of sexual harassment organized around the artistic practice of dyeing with natural materials. My forthcoming book, The Daybooks, served as my MFA thesis. An epic 366-page combination of memoir, diary, and experimental poetry, 78 of its poems have been published in periodicals, as well as been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won the Academy of American Poets Prize at Miami. Besides these book-length publications, my work has been published as chapbooks and in periodicals, displayed in art galleries, performed in musical events, and nominated for awards. In addition, I have been a major team player in “poetry land,” organizing reading series, editing periodicals, guest-editing others’ periodicals, and giving guest workshops in the U.S. and abroad. My critical work on experimental poetry has been cited in dissertations, articles, and books across disciplines.
My interest in experimental literature bridges the fields of creative writing, literature, and digital humanities. By “experimental” literature, I mean hybrid-genre literature that stands outside the cultural norm of its period -- we could trace its advent to Mallarmé, to Sterne, to Sappho. I concentrate on literature post-Mallarmé. To embrace the wide sweep of the experimental, I read across genres and cultures. For example, to discuss the work of Marguerite Duras (French), it is necessary to know how to discuss nonfiction, memoir, film, and fiction. To study the work of William Carlos Williams (American) it is essential to also study Dada (French, Italian, German) and Futurism (Russian, Italian); to understand Dada and Futurism it is necessary to study film. Experimental Literature is my favorite elective course to teach. A hybrid critical/creative course, Experimental Literature asks students to make work according to the same kinds of constraints used by the authors they read, but also to respond critically. Experimental Literature reflects my own learning: I am not a critic or a creative writer, but both, and my study of each informs the other. I am currently a second-year Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Humanities: Culture and Aesthetics at Brock University in Ontario. Although I'm still choosing between a couple of dissertation topic ideas, my goal in pursuing this degree is to bring my previous educational experiences together into one project.
After finishing my M.F.A., I went back to school again for my M.A.E., which is required as part of certification to teach in Alabama's public high schools. As I trained for this degree from 2020-21, during the COVID-19 outbreak, I received extensive training in digital teaching strategies for remote synchronous and asynchronous, in-person, and hybrid classrooms. I completed student teaching at Huffman Middle School (7th grade) and Shades Valley High School (9th, 10th, and 12th grades). After graduating, I substitute taught at the Magic City Acceptance Academy, a charter school that specializes in LGBTQIA+ and trauma-informed education for grades 6-12.
I am ethically committed to young adult literacy (in the broadest sense), trauma-informed education, and inclusion. In my librarianship and teaching, I have striven to increase diversity in the literature students encounter on bookshelves and in the classroom. I am open about my own differences and trained in Safe Zone practices. I can teach students how to read a range of genres and works, and the way I talk about them and engage with students reflects the range of voices I would like to see in the world.