About

I’m a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a B.A. in Writing and a minor in English. I’ve done grant writing, social media and newsletter writing, community engagement, and web content and design contract work for Better Drinking Culture, Wait 21, Every Woman’s Place, Safe Haven, Recovery Academy, Exodus Place, and A Father’s Walk. I’ve coordinate poetry programming for Grand Rapids Public Library, Kent District Library, Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, and eighteen school districts.

I’m Editor-in-Chief of Hyype, Coordinator of the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition for Grand Rapids Public Library, host of WYCE’s Electric Poetry, and a board member of Write616.

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My article and journalistic writing has focused on women’s rights, political reform, prison reform, environmental justice, and body image.

I’m a proud graduate of Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Northview High School. My writing has appeared in Turnpike Magazine, Little Patuxent, The Maine Review, damselfly, Paste Magazine, Barking Sycamores, Broken Plate, Sweater Weather, Gnarled Oak, HowlRound, Non-Binary Review, and Pine Hills Review. I have also received numerous grants and awards, including nominations for two Pushcart Prizes, a nomination for a Community Award by the Rapidian, and a grant from Grand Valley State University to write a series of poems about sexual assault and domestic violence (The V-Card Series).

Other things that make me happy include: birdwatching, camping, hammocking, eating frozen yogurt, comedy, playing video and board games, discussing politics and social norms, hanging out with my husband, re-watching Parks & Rec, ice skating, and hiking.


Thank you to the amazing businesses and organizations
who I’m proud to support and call partners and friends.

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What I’m Consuming

2019

Keep up with my reading adventures and recommendations via Hyype and Goodreads!

Favorites this year include:

  • Tuca & Bertie
  • Bon Iver’s i,i
  • Willow’s new album
  • The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs
  • Library of Small Catastrophes by Alison C. Rollins
  • Grace & Frankie
  • Inner State 81

2017

poems from Marlin M. Jenkins in The Collapsar

Zeina Hashem Beck in “Ambit Magazine

She Went as a Cheetah” by Evan Bauer in Nashville Review

“I ask you if, in theory,
an eighteen-year-old god would want
to undress me, & you inhale
through your teeth…”
>> “Immortality” by Zeina Hashem Beck in Nashville Review

“Necessity fills the world with altars.”
>> “Altars” by Bill Brown in Nashville Review

“I think of
how my parents flinch sometimes when
I say my name”
>> “In the Netflix Trailer…” by Julian Randall in Nashville Review

you are six flags” >> Nate Slawson in Vinyl Poetry

“My sister says she’s felt
hopeless most of this day.
She expects more of the same tomorrow.”
>> “The Poem of Winter Morning” by Norman Dubie

“It was an interlude, we were passing, we happened to witness it”

> Sycamore by David Constantine

Flash fiction from Jason Lee Norman


I care for you
I care for our world
if I stop
caring about one
it would be only
a matter of time
before I stop
loving
the other.

love isn’t” by Pat Parker


December 2016

She wakes up early pretty.” >> from “Star Stuff” by Chaz Bundick

There is a Lake Here” by Clint Smith

“Where you could sit up straight” by francine j harris in Hunger Mountain


November 2016 – a month of distress & mourning

This is how you enter the poem:” by Taylor Johnson

The Author Writes the First Draft of His Wedding Vows” by Hanif Abdurraqib


October 2016

All the things by Traci Brimhall

Music from SOHN

These poems by Urvashi Bahuguna


September 2016

the first online issue from Winter Tangerine


August 2016

“I am not the “I”

in my poems. “I”

is the net I try to pull me in with.”

>> Toi Dericotte in “Speculations about “I””

 

“My love

for nature is like my love for most things:

fickle & theoretical.

Too many bugs & I want a divorce.”

>> Fatimah Asghar in “My Love for Nature”

 

“I think I am breaking up with memory. again. I live
by only that which will still allow me

to do the living. The flag, for example, reminds me
to either feel fear or sadness, depending on how high

it is drawn along its metal spine…

I salute whatever cloth I must
in order to keep breathing. I hum every anthem through clenched

teeth.”

>> from “I Don’t Know Any Longer Why the Flags are at Half-Staff” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

 

“But quick—
under these mom-and-pop storefront awnings
my eyelids. Please, come back
behind the shop, where we live”

>> from “Asylum” by Jed Myers

 

“…Seconds of kissing
a man & I touching.

Body the gods decide
should riverspin…

When I wake, a gun
nesting in my place…

No skin to feed
the earth so I face up.”

>> Peter LeBarge, “Forever Light


May 2016

“I split
rocks in the backlot of my father’s skull.”

Wo Chan, “Such As


April 23rd, 2016

anything and everything by Elizabeth Alvecedo.

It was such an honor and joy to meet you. Courage & peace.

 

Also Dawn Saylor’s “When I was 14“. I’ve heard this poem several times over the past year, and it always hits me.

“I heard myself say ‘no’ over and over

but he didn’t hear me.”


April 17th, 2016

Covers from Sparsh Shah AKA PURHYTHM


April 10th, 2016

“The moon is the same size regardless

of where or horizon.”

Kelly Clare, “In” from Dunes Review

 

“waiting
as if the sp-
arrows
thinning above you
are not
already pierced
by their own names”
Ocean Vuong, “Toy Boat” from Poetry Foundation
“forgive us this day our
immigrant past”
Martha Collins, “Leaving Behind” from Poetry Foundation

 

“what we’ve become scares our country down
to the teeth, which, at times, we are stuck in.”

Danez Smith, “Leland & James & Me & Sometimes Jamal” on The Rumpus

 

Claudia Rankine visited Grand Valley State University this past week, and her lectures were amazing. Here’s my favorite (chilling) line from her new poem “Sound & Fury” published in The New Yorker:

“This is what it means to wear a color and believe

the embrace of its touch.”


As an artist, it is of the utmost importance to constantly be reading, listening to, watching, and observing other art.


April 3rd, 2016

“In her dream, she spied the moon and it was missing a part.”

Jenna Boully, “The Body”


 

March 22, 2016

“One day my body

will be a bomb
going off in the street…”

Homecoming” by Kate Gaskin in Radar


 

March 21, 2016

Mimi Khalvati’s gorgeous “Ghazal: In Silence

I’d love to keep working with ghazals.


 

March 20, 2016

“I swallow the night,
I swallow the left side of the bed

& pull the pregnant covers over my eyes…”

Undolled” by Tanya Grae


 

March 19, 2016

Art from 17-year-old Jenn Moon


“Of course, anyone can keep a diary with such entries as ‘On this day it rained…in the afternoon it cleared…at that place is a pine…at this place flows a river called Such-and-such’; but unless sights are truly remarkable, they shouldn’t be mentioned at all.”

Matsuo Bashō, from “More than the Birds, Bees, and Trees: A Closer Look at Writing Haibun


Summer Reading 2015

June 21, 2015

 I’ve been reading a lot of cultural novels as well as novels written by women and minority authors. I’m trying to diversify my reading experience from high school. Last semester, one of my favorite professors asked us as a class to name as many books as we could remember from required reading for high school. We realized that only a few out of more than forty authors were women. Of the more than forty, only James Joyce was nonwhite. Even though authors like Mark Twain wrote about nonwhite experiences, I hardly read anything from the point of view of someone who identified as anything besides white. I realized how much I was missing out on due to this homogeneous makeup of authors. So, I’ve started seeking authors like Junot Diaz and Toni Morrison, trying to read books and poetry from perspectives different than mine.

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I just finished The Sleeping Dictionary by Sujata Massey and In the Time of the Butterflies by Julie Alvarez. I loved both novels, especially the political climate of Alvarez’s Dominican Republic setting. If you need a summer read, pick up something new! Don’t fall prey to an easy read. Challenge your ideas and conventions, and read a book by someone different than you. And if you have a favorite novel written by an author of color, I’m hungry for suggestions!

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