Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, I am the granddaughter of immigrants who came to the US as children from Eastern Europe. Luckily, I got to know my grandparents because my parents remained in South Bend, despite all of my other extended family leaving that ‘dying city,’ as it was known. These themes and the secrets of my grandparents have always been obsessions of mine and have turned up often in my work. However, my journey with writing has been far from a straight path.
I have had a couple different careers, but I have always written poetry, even if it was completely private. In 2002, I graduated from Clemson University with a BS in horticulture and a minor in poetry, intending to keep poetry as a secret hobby and outlet. I only minored in it because I loved the poetry classes so much!
I then worked various horticulture related jobs: landscaping for the South Carolina Botanical Garden and for The City of Clemson’s Parks Department, and as a retail nursery specialist. When I moved back to Indiana (to Indianapolis), I worked as a grocery store florist for 13 years.
I finally decided to pursue poetry and teaching and earned my MFA in 2012 from Butler University. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. In addition, I am the founder and editor in chief of The Indianapolis Review.
I have been published in a wide variety of literary journals, including North American Review, Pleiades, EcoTheo Review, The Literary Review, and Colorado Review. I have also published visual art and visual poetry in journals such as: Ethel, Talking About Strawberries All The Time, Babel Tower Notice Board, and Yes, Poetry.