A recipient of the Ohio Individual Excellence Award, I hold an MFA in creative nonfiction from The Ohio State University and teach creative writing and marketing for artists at the Columbus College of Art & Design.
I am drawn to the physicality of language—how it moves like the body in dance. From 1998-2009, I directed Chicago’s award-winning Danza Viva Center for World Dance, Art & Music and its resident dance company, One World Dance Theater. My work in Latin and Afro Cuban dance has taken me to Cuba and South America to collaborate with native artists, been featured in Latina Magazine, Chicago Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune, spotlighted on Fox and ABC News, and has served as inspiration for much of my writing.
My essays, poems and short stories have been published in places like The Southern Review, Ninth Letter, South Loop Review, Sonora Review, Tampa Review and The Pinch. My debut memoir, My Mother in Havana, is forthcoming (Monkfish, 2024).
Spanish is my second language and I spend as much time as I can exploring this vast world of ours, but it is the Midwest I call home. Born in Litchfield, Illinois, & raised in St. Louis and Chicago, I live in Delaware, Ohio with my husband Rick, our dog and cat, and a revolving carousel of birds who nest in our eaves.
Most recently I’ve completed a memoir that explores the memory of my mother through a larger template of “the mother”—a maternal, feminine presence I find in Cuba’s Catholic and African spiritual traditions. My work on the book has received support from The Ohio State University and fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, Playa, the Hambidge Center, and Brush Creek Foundation.
In 2017, I was invited to present my research and manuscript in progress at Santiago de Cuba’s International Colloquium on Popular Religions.