Took an early selfie in the bedroom of my paternal grandparents' tiny Brighton Beach rental apartment around half a lifetime (mine) ago. As a kid, I was certain the people in the painting were related somehow to Grandma with her heavy Ukrainian accent and Grandpa, a sheet-metal worker, purportedly fond of tearing phone books in two. I loved that 35 mm camera so much I wore the leather off the front with my thumb.
a Bit about Me
I consolidated my love of reading and teaching by earning a PhD in Comparative Literature from Brown University, where I received an Excellence in Teaching award. No one in my family knew the slightest bit about Brown, though my maternal grandfather was familiar with Providence College because of their basketball team. Amtrak cost $27 round trip and was mostly empty the day I visited Brown for the first time. I attended public schools from kindergarten on, began my college experience at Brooklyn College, and completed it at Hunter with a bachelor's degree in Classics and History. I still don't have a high school diploma. I skipped 12th grade for early admissions and was supposed to take the Regents Exams at the end of the school year, but some kind soul stole the answers so the tests that year were cancelled. I loved schoolwork but it would have been a stretch to sit for exams in Calculus and American History after my college coursework had none of that. Despite this embarrassing gap, over the years, I've taught literature as well as creative writing to folks of all ages, from preschoolers to college students, to assisted living residents, many in their ninth decade of life. I live in Rhode Island now among wonderful human and nonhuman species.
Memberships and Affiliations
Association of Writers & Writing Programs www.awpwriter.org/
Creature Conserve www.creatureconserve.com/
Everett: Company, Stage & School www.everettri.org/
PEN America pen.org/
What Cheer Writers www.whatcheerclub.org
Serious luck — to have friends who have goats.