My story as a writer starts in a newsroom. I took a job at a small paper on a Florida island right out of college and ended up six years later reporting for one of the nation’s largest daily newspapers. During that time, I wrote about beached whales, rodeos, inventor contests, polygamists, rain, house movers, fat camp, subdivision names, Tom Delay, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, diapered astronauts, tarpon, coyote attacks, hoarders, Virgin Mary miracles, shrimp boats, gay-deniers, circadian clocks, the stink of red tide, gasoline prices, and one man put to death by the state of Texas.
After six years at that, I decided it was high time to shrink my audience base. So I packed up and moved to Iowa, where I got an MFA in creative nonfiction writing and later started (but never finished) an MFA in literary translation. During those years, I also managed to learn Spanish, get married, spend a year in Colombia on a Fulbright, have a kid, climb lots of trees, and start publishing work that, while read by fewer people, is something I can own and (most of the time) love.
I am the author of the essay collection Mine, winner of the River Teeth Book Prize and the GLCA New Writer’s Award and longlisted for the Pen/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Mine was named one of LitHub’s favorite books of 2018. I also translated the novella Cordoba Skies by the Argentine writer Federico Falco, and, with Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, I am editor of the forthcoming anthology The Great American Essay. My second book, Autobiography of Shadows, is forthcoming from Scribner Books, and is funded in part by the good people at the National Endowment for the Arts. In my day-to-day life, I teach and live and (try to) raise two kids (and a dog) in Arizona.