“Operation,” CNF in Sundog Lit

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 7.05.57 PM

1. Waiting Room

Muzak earworms a song so deep into your subconscious that for weeks afterwards: hum, hum, hum. And it’s Juice Newton. It’s Steely Dan. The Girl from Freaking Ipanema. Read more…


“Game Day,” flash fiction in Hobart

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 7.03.49 PM

In my phone sex voice I say, the quesadilla of the day is caramelized onion and chorizo. Chef makes ‘em special. Sure, I say: $5 house wines, $2 off apps. Would you like to start a tab? I nod a lot. Sometimes I remember to smile. Read more…

“Songs of Our Lives: Dead Kennedy’s ‘Chemical Warfare’,” nonfiction in The Rumpus

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.55.15 PM

July 18, 2014

“Songs of Our Lives: Dead Kennedy’s ‘Chemical Warfare’,”

 In 1987, at a family arcade in New Jersey, I’d hoarded enough Skee-ball tickets for a real prize—not just some ratty stuffed animal. I claimed my bounty with fervor: a single-tape boombox small enough to keep under the covers and muffle the sounds of my parents’ endless fighting. In the dark, the volume at just one bar, I’d lie with my ear pressed against the speaker mesh, my index finger poised, waiting to hit record on any of the groups I loved…Read more…

“Landlines,” flash nonfiction in Brevity

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.47.10 PM



We ran for ringing phones. Loitering in front of Sbarro, sweating through our bomber jackets, our hair partially shaved and streaked blue. We looked tough in our Docs (though not so tough as we thought), and at one ring, maybe a two hundred-foot clip, we’d abandon the food court to get there first. More often than not, Read more…

McSweeney’s Bingo Card

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 4.07.28 PM

Insanely, inexplicably, McSweeney’s said yes to my submission and the piece went viral.

The original Faculty Bingo card is here.

The Chronicle of Higher Education picking it up and encouraging people to fill it out is here.

via Uncategorized | teach.write.think.

I heart teaching

I’ve been at this teaching game for a decade now, and most days–really, almost all of them–I feel lucky to have stumbled into a job that I love so much that I draw hearts on the whiteboard. Because I geek out about all things pedagogy, I spend a lot of time happily helping other teachers think about and plan classes and syllabi and exercises. So to cut down my phone/Skype/IM time, I thought I’d start a blog so that anyone looking for Creative Writing classroom ideas could have easy access.

Many of my exercises have been culled from the Interwebs over the years, and I will 100% try my best to give credit where and when it’s due. Many of the ideas here are things I’ve thought up in my imaginarium and tried, refined, revised, and tried again. I share everything in good faith, and if you do wind up putting anything from here on your syllabus, be a solid citizen and give credit.

Otherwise, I hope I have things to share that will be useful. If at any time you have ideas to share, don’t hesitate to hit up the comments. I’d also love feedback on things you try.

Happy teaching!