Here's the philosophy behind my work.
I’ve spent over a decade facilitating creative writing workshops in my community for everyone from social workers to stockbrokers.
A working writer for 17 years, I’ve taught and presented in colleges, universities, libraries, coffee houses, galleries, retirement homes, lockdown facilities, schools, and assisted living facilities across the Midwest, the Southwest, and beyond.
The breadth and depth of my work at the university, in public schools, and in the community-at-large reflect my core belief that as a poet, a teacher, a mother, and a citizen, I have a responsibility to put in the work necessary to create and maintain communities that provide opportunities for the development and artistic growth of people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.
Inclusive, Original Writing Courses
For more than a decade I’ve taught writing to students of all ages and abilities. I’ve worked as a Teaching Artist for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, designing creative writing curriculum for Native high school students at UmoNhoN Nation Public School in Macy, Nebraska, and I've spent the last 6 years teaching Autobiographical Reading and Writing courses for first-generation college attendees through UNO’s Thompson Learning Community.
My experience in diverse educational settings has focused my teaching style. Student needs are at the center of my curriculum. Whether we’re writing personal essays, poems, or responses to reading — my students’ lives are treated as primary sources for their work. In my classroom students are asked to reflect on how their life experiences act as a lens through which they experience the world.
Teaching in these settings has given me the opportunity to use my creativity and my passion to work to reach all of my students. Most importantly, it has given me the opportunity to nurture and help shape my students’ stories. Theirs are stories that are often underrepresented in literature and are vital to our understanding of the rich tapestry of voices and experiences that make up our communities.
For COMMUNITY GROUPS
I believe anyone who is provided with some protected time, space, and guidance, can write a poem. No matter their age or ability, I’ve witnessed my workshop participants awaken to a real sense of discovery in the process of building their poems, as they take creative leaps in their thinking and their writing. I pride myself on building the kind of workshops that feel less like work and more like invitations to play.
I truly enjoy facilitating poetry writing workshops as part of corporate and non-profit team-building and networking sessions. My arts integration training equips me to facilitate conversations about how the creative process of writing can inform the work people do, regardless of their field. Individuals benefit from the chance to shift their thinking during a creative writing session. Groups benefit from articulating a group story, especially if they didn't think they had one.