Antarctic Explorer Project
I taught poetry, creative writing, composition and literature at the University of Pittsburgh for 17 years. Some of the classes I designed focused specifically on food and food writing, visual texts and design, and illness and medicine.
I also developed a walking lecture at the Carnegie Museum of Art which makes connections between various paintings from a variety of eras and writing techniques.
I currently teach English at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, where I focus on a non-fiction curriculum for middle and high school students.
For me, teaching is not so much about imparting knowledge as it is about providing students with the tools they can use to gather — and apply — knowledge themselves. My role is to facilitate their learning experience by designing classes that provide the opportunity to read texts they have not been exposed to or shed new light on ones they have; and to create assignments that allow them to develop a literacy that goes beyond simply reading words. To this end, I bring to the syllabi texts which stimulate different senses and require an expanded repertoire of critical analysis — including film, music, two- and three-dimensional visual media, and even food.
I tend to be an energetic presence in the classroom, encouraging discussion and asking provocative questions — but this does not mean I am lax when it comes to the discipline of presenting critical and creative thinking in print. I make sure students are able to identify reputable sources for research and to cite that work correctly. My students learn how to write essays using traditional rhetoric, and in writing classes, both classical and non-traditional forms of creative expression. I stress the importance of developing the ability to self-edit alongside such editing techniques as proofreading, copyediting and formatting.
As a practicing writer publishing across genres and platforms (in journals, newsprint, and online), I am also able to offer my students practical advice about getting their work read by a wider audience.
GUEST LECTURES AND CLASS VISITS
I often give guest lectures on elements of craft, specifically poetry, and visit classes to discuss my work and the business of being a professional writer. If you would like to book me for a visit, please email or use the form on my contact page.