I've been enchanted with the power of personal stories to make sense of the world around us ever since my freshman year of college, when an extraordinary professor named Lydia Fakundiny introduced a group of us to the long tradition of the essay.
Ever since, I've been a big believer in helping others to transform their self-understanding through the power and the craft of memoir & essay.
I'm also a fan & critic of contemporary fiction, and edited Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge (Harper Perennial), an anthology based on a popular reading series I ran at the KGB Bar on the Lower East Side. I've worked professionally in the Jewish world since 2000, a path that led me to be one of the founding editors of the pop-culture quarterly Heeb Magazine, and to speak frequently about Jewish authors, contemporary fiction, and 2nd Generation Holocaust identity. Appearances have included 92nd Street Y, SUNY New Paltz, and on the air at WNYC’s “The Leonard Lopate Show.”
Other features, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Tablet Magazine, the Jewish Daily Forward, The Jewish Week, Time Out New York, the New York Post, Columbia Public Health magazine, Cornell Alumni Magazine, Brevity magazine, and the anthology A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward (Norton).
For the past decade I have taught in a variety of settings and institutions including The University of the Arts (Philadelphia), Lafayette College, Grub Street, the JCC in Manhattan, Eldridge Street Synagogue, and LA's Skirball Museum. I feel grateful for all the amazing storytellers (and stories) I've gotten to work with, including some journalists, novelists, memoirists/spiritual seekers – even alternative rock stars.
I am a graduate of Cornell University, and also earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2014.
Currently I lead workshops in memoir, personal essay & therapeutic writing. I also coach college admissions essay clients at Stories For My Future. I live in Santa Barbara, CA where there are apparently only two seasons: fog and sun.