literary labors


author, poet


literary journals


last updated July 31, 2022


poetry and fiction

Writing in the borderlands of the literary and speculative.

BIPOC Publishing and Writing Panel (with Janice Lee, Nicholas Buccola, Michelle Ruiz Keil, and Jonathan Hill), May 2022 via Zoom

> Read about the event

Love as a Bee Sting POETRY MOVES, Artstra (in partnership with C-TRAN and Clark County Arts Commission)

2021 | season 10

> Read about the Poetry Moves program

Selling Oranges ATTICUS REVIEW, first prize winner of the 2020 Poetry Contest (selected by Roberto Carlos Garcia); also nominated for the Best New Poets 2021 anthology

> Read the announcement

"Close Encounter at Dance Party"

"In my writing, the personal often gets filtered through the speculative, where intimate themes of loss, grief, and reflection are refracted through the lens of imagined, post-human futures. My poetry is inspired in part by literary modes outside of poetry, particularly science fiction and fantasy, history and myth. Spoiler alert, “Close Encounter…” is a poem whose speaker is intended to be a non-human entity, perhaps an AI, in a post-human world. Humans may no longer exist, but the culture persists somehow (perhaps in some kind of elaborate simulation), and there is a latent sense of nostalgia and self-awareness when the speaker comes face to face with—of all creatures—a tiger.

The tiger is a potent symbol for me for many reasons. In very real terms, it’s an animal whose numbers decrease every year because of habitat loss and poaching so using the tiger gives the poem that immediate layer of loss, of the horror of what has been wrought on the world. The tiger in the poem is most likely a clone, generated in a lab, reduced to a living artifact for amusement and yet it evokes something in the speaker that speaks to a kind of realness. The poem pays homage to William Blake’s “The Tyger” and hopefully recalls some of that poem’s comparisons between ‘civilized’ beauty and primal ferocity."


"Secret Society of Dodos"

"I wanted to explore the emotional and physical experience of aging within the apocalyptic theater. As I get older, I grapple with what that means biologically and culturally for me, for my ‘status’ as a woman. Growing old is inevitable, of course. Yet for women, especially women without children, there’s also that sense of loss and a tendency to want to mourn that choice—not out of regret but because it forces me to grapple with the passing of time.

Parallel to this, I’m constantly reading the stories about animal populations under tremendous pressure, how hundreds of species are driven to extinction all around us due to everything from habitat loss and pollution to climate change. I grieve for that loss, too, the impact we’ve had on the natural world. This poem attempts to connect those narratives about bodies and nature in arrested development, and is my way of making sense of time looming over all of it."

“Stars That Are Not Stars” FOLIO (The World Tree issue)

> Purchase the issue; also available at Upshur Street Books, The Potter’s House, and Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

"I loved the imagery throughout 'How to Fix a Dancer When It Breaks' and the delicacy in the writing. The poem paint[s] shades of subtlety in the shifting emotional reactions to the difficult circumstances in which the narrator find [itself]…[explores] imagery of healing, whether the healing is considered positive or not…"

  1. ~ S. Qiouyi Lu, Guest Poetry Editor, Uncanny Magazine

“All of our readers enjoyed 'Mandala.' The imagery, the tone, the voice, the intent—all of it was conveyed well. Most importantly, the poem was felt.”

  1. ~ Morgan Talty, Managing Editor, Stonecoast Review

“Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Pasadena” REED MAGAZINE (California issue)

> Purchase the issue

“Mapmakers” FOLIO (Crossroads and Intersections issue)

> Purchase the issue; also available at Upshur Street Books, The Potter’s House, and Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

“There was something about the way 'The Queen’s School for Girls' took an innocent question from a school girl … asking ‘What is the heart’s shape?’ and the teacher, instead of having an extremely philosophical question conversation with them, … takes them to see a cadaver and a real heart, brain. It had such a visceral punch to it. … We’re not just talking hearts and flowers and feelings here; we’re actually taking this into the dimension of what these organs look like and how we conceptualize that, and how we attach emotion. I’ve never quite seen a poem do something like that with such an innocuous question. I had no idea what I was going to see when I [read the poem] but it was full of marvels.”

  1. ~ A.J. Odasso, Poetry Editor, Strange Horizons

“Alternate” ITHACA LIT

(selected as a finalist for the Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)


“What struck me about the poem 'Xylophone' was how deftly the ending of the poem is handled, the skilled control of the language juxtaposes with the innocent crush and romance that takes place 'for a moment like this all summer. The poem builds momentum from the tension of the language describing the young man’s study of a girl. By the end we learn that: 'The music in her knowing laugh enough / to run the scales for him, to sing the encounter.' In my mind, as I read these lines, I heard 'of him' not 'for him,' and the poem suddenly held an entirely new depth. This is a poem about awakening to the hungers of the body, and how gentle we are with that hunger and with love when we are young.”

  1. ~ Ösel Jessica Plante, Associate Editor, Connotation Press