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What Is in the Blood is a poetry memoir about growing up in rural Pennsylvania in the 1960s and ‘70s with a mother suffering from bipolar disorder. The book describes a girl’s early childhood and adolescence from having a vibrant mother to… “the ghost who was my mother drifting from bed to bed…layering herself under covers like a fallow field.”

What Is in the Blood is about being female in America, the expectations of caregiving, and the toll gender takes on women. The poet makes clear the journey and impact of caring for a mentally ill parent while becoming a woman and mother herself.  

The gardens, fields, rivers and mountains of the author’s childhood provide both context and purpose to the family’s struggle. What Is in the Blood is finally a book about how the natural world holds and cares for those who rely on it for solace.


A landmark literary anthology of poems, stories, and essays, Choice Words collects essential voices that renew our courage in the struggle to defend reproductive rights. Twenty years in the making, the book spans continents and centuries. These essays, poems, and prose are a testament to the profound political power of defying shame.

“This book is a treasure, a gift, and a long-overdue shining of light in the most secret, sometimes painful, and often defiant lives of women. I am grateful that this anthology finally exists.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author, Eat, Pray, Love

Recent Publications

"Grover Powell came to dinner," and "Wolfhound," The Museum of Americana, Issue 21, June 2020,

“American abortion sonnet #7,” Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, April 2020

"Cream puffs" and "Leftover spools," Please See Me, March 31, 2020,

"Retribution," Switchback, September 2019,


"Losing winter,” Halfway Down the Stairs, September 2019  

In Wisconsin,”The Citron Review, , Citron 10: Celebrating 10 years of the Short Form, Fall 2019,

"Girl of prey," 

Mantis, A Journal of Poetry, Criticism & Translation, Issue 17, 2019, Poetry and Protest

My poem, "Losing Winter" was nominated for a  Pushcart Prize by Halfway Down the Stairs, 2019.


The Solid Living World, won the 2013 Michigan Writers Cooperative Press chapbook contest.

“This is important poetry, linking the human experience to the natural world. It has some of the best elements of fiction, but there’s no doubt that these poems are songs — musical and memorable and full of vivid imagery.The poet has a painter’s eye, and I’ve enjoyed rereading the chapbook as much as I enjoyed my first reading.” — Laura Kasischke