Creative Writing Instructor

The George Washington University, Creative Writing Program, Jan 2004-present

Have taught Engl 103, Intermediate Fiction (for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors), focusing on writing, reading, discussing craft and stories and work-shopping fiction in an intimate classroom setting. Texts used recently are Sherman Alexieís Ten Little Indians, Susan Vreelandís Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Lan Samantha Changís Hunger, and classic short fiction by Hemingway, Wolfe, Joyce, Garcia Marquez, Malamud, and Carver. Writing includes writing modeled on stories, writing out of personal experience/observation, writing out of documentary, and writing out of history.


Have taught Engl 081, Intro to Creative Writing in a variety of formats--in-class, online through the Summer Distance Learning program, and as a hybrid classroom/online course (for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors)-- covering introductory creative writing and elements of short fiction, poetry, and drama, using for text the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and the Norton Anthologies of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Fiction Writerís Workshop (Josip Novakovich), Ordinary Genius (Kim Addonizio), and The Poetís Companion (eds. Kim Addonzio, Dorianne Laux).Focused around small-group and class discussion of readings, group analysis of elements of fiction and poetry, peer work-shopping of student creative work, the inclusion of art, photography, film, and documentary, in-class writing exercises, and continuous creative writing assignments. The class includes a writer visit, campus readings, and student journaling. Currently scheduled to teach Engl 081, Spring 2010.


The Writerís Center, Bethesda, Jan 2003 Ė present

Teach workshops (for continuing ed. adult writers) in creative writing with a dual emphasis on reading and writing. Have recently taught courses in Writing Short Fiction using the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Robert Olen Butlerís From Where You Dream, and Rust Hillsí Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular. Have taught Writing About Family and Writing Mothering/Fathering using for text In Short and Writing Creative Non Fiction (Forche/Gerard).


Have taught Bicultural Fiction Writing, covering the work of contemporary American minority and immigrant writers writing out of a bicultural context, andGetting Started I and II workshops in introductory creative writing, covering poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction (vignettes, personal essay, memoir), using self-compiled handouts and texts. Texts used include Growing up Ethnic in America (eds. Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan), Imagining America (eds. Wesley Brown and Amy Ling), In Short (ed. Judith Kitchen), The Art of the Story (ed. Daniel Halpern), Fiction Writerís Workshop (Josip Novakovich), and A Poetís Companion (eds. Kim Addonzio, Dorianne Laux). Currently scheduled to teach Writing the Personal Lyric Essay, Winter 2010.


Literary Journalist

Freelance, Oct 2002 Ė Present

Interview writers and poets, and write essays and book reviews on contemporary poetics, non-fiction, and fiction. Interview bicultural fiction writers on the subject ofwriting bicultural fiction, the art and craft of fiction, language, voice, writing from memory, and other subjects specific to their writing, for individual publication in literary journals and for eventual inclusion in a planned anthology featuring short fiction and interviews.Writers interviewed for this project include Junot Diaz, Lan Samantha Chang, and Sandra Cisneros. Interview conducted with Ursula K. Le Guin in relation to her receipt of the 2002 PEN/Malamud Prize for Short Fiction appeared (Oct/Nov 2002) in The Writerís Chronicle, AWP.


Continuing Education Writing Instructor

Arlington Adult Education, Arlington Public Schools, Fall 2001 Ė Spring 2004

Taught workshops (for continuing ed. adult writers) in Creative Journal Writing, From Journal to Essay, Introduction to Poetry Writing, using excerpts from the diaries of Anais Nin, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, Gertrude Bell; selections of contemporary poetry featuring Jorie Graham, Louise Gluck, Jane Kenyon, Philip Levine, Alice Fulton, and others from An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (ed. J. D. McClatchy); and non-fiction pieces from In Short.

USDA Graduate School, April 2003 Ė 2004

Taught Effective Business Writing courses through the Graduate Adult Education evening program.


Lecturer in English/Writing Instructor

George Washington University, The Writing Program, Aug 1991 Ė Dec 1997

Taught eleven thematically organized courses, three sections of English 11, an advanced Composition and Writing seminar, and eight sections of English 10, Freshman Composition and Writing, both requiring the teaching of critical, analytical, expository, and creative writing, critical thinking, and literary analysis and research. Also conducted an Introductory Creative Writing seminar (Spring 1992) in poetry for freshman undergraduate writing students (in Stacey Freedmanís class).


English 10


The Conscious Self, Fall 1997, Fall 1996, examined, through fiction, poetry, essay, and memoir, the individual in relationship, in solitude, in art, science, and society. Discussions and writings were constructed around moments of awakening, release from situations of social oppression, the construction of the individual self, the self in continuum, autonomy and community, and staying conscious.Texts included Ourika by Claire de Duras, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, A Dollís House by Henrik Ibsen, and Kate Chopinís Awakening.


Genes, Quarks, God, and Human Time, Spring 1997, examined some implications of the practice of modern science, and used poetry, science writing, science fiction, physics, and natural science to explore ideas such as rationalistic science versus holistic knowledge, species interconnection, individual and communal living, legacies of rationalism, ethics in science, and intersections of modern physics with Taoist, Buddhist, and Hindu thinking. Writing covered both expository and creative forms, and included a research paper.Texts included The Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon, A Handmaidís Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, essays from New Science Journalists and poetry by Linda Hogan, Mary Oliver, and Jorie Graham.


Myths, Migrations, and Identities, Fall 1996, focused on issues and nuances of the post-immigration experience in the United States and examined writings in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction from The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America, Before Columbus: A Fiction Anthology, and Rereading America.. Issues focused on included the effects of displacement, the shifting and shaping of identities, the expansions of cultures--both "minority" and "majority,"and notions of marginality and centrality.


Writings of Empowerment (against racism and sexism), Fall 1995, examined issues of imperialism, patriarchy, assumptions of racial and sexual privilege, consequent oppression, and sources of empowerment in texts that included Feminism in Our Time edited by Miriam Schneir, Maya Angelouís I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Ibsenís A Dollís House, and Ralph Ellisonís Invisible Man.


The Emergence of the Self, Spring 1995, examined a plethora of idealogies surrounding the forming, empowering, and emerging of the human self, particularly out of situations of oppression.Readings focused on moments of awakening in texts which included Ibsenís A Dollís House, Kate Chopinís Awakening, Sandra Cisnerosí Woman Hollering Creek, Rilkeís Letters to a Young Poet, essays/poetry from The Conscious Reader.


Post-Colonial Writing and Multiculturalism, Fall 1994, premised on the affinities between post-colonial experience in the Commonwealth and ďminorityĒ experience within the United States, examined power, dominance, and marginality in writings fromThe Open Boat: Poems from Asian America, Before Columbus: A Fiction Anthology, Interviews with Post-Colonial Writers, and Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa.


The Personal and the Cultural, Fall 1992, scrutinized dominant cultural myths--regarding individual opportunity, success, race, gender, and technology in contemporary America--and was organized around texts Rereading America, and Breaking Ice, an anthology of African-American fiction edited by Terry Macmillan.Course also directed focus on personal identity, place, and allegiance within culture.


English 11


Writings from Outside the Language, Spring 1993, constructed around post-colonial and post-immigration writing in English, examined texts by Bapsi Sidhwa and Bharati Mukherjee, interviews with Chinua Achebe, Nuruddin Farah, Anita Desai, Sandra Cisneros and others to study questions of dominance/marginality, language, gender, and social relations within different cultures.


The Self and the World, Spring 1992, focused on issues of individuality and community, examined fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art on individuality, family, solitude, science, art, and literature in society from texts including The Conscious Reader.


Writing and Politics, Fall 1991, constructed on the precept of all writing as political, examined poetry by poets Anna Akhmatova, Czeslaw Milosz, Ingeborg Bachman, Carolyn Forchť, Naomi Thiers, and Patricia Bertheaud, and essays from Nígugi Wa Thiongo and Blood, Bread and Poetry by Adrienne Rich.

American University, College Writing Program, Aug 1994 - May 1995

Taught two courses in the College Writing program using the Writing Programís prescribed texts.


Freshman College Writing 23.101, Fall 1994: Using Kurt Vonnegutís Slaughterhouse Five, Ursula Le Guinís The Left Hand of Darkness, and anthologized essays, taught critical thinking, expository writing, and literary analysis.


Short Fiction Seminar 23.102, Spring 1995: Using anthologized nineteenth and twentieth-century fiction and an avidly collaborative format, examined issues of power, human community, and individualism, as well as narrative strategies and the use of metaphor; course involved individual presentations, class discussions, and a small-group creative project.

Montgomery College, Department of English, Aug 1991 - May 1993

Taught nine classes in the Department of English-five sections of English 102, one section of English 101A, one section of English 101, and two sections of English 002.


Engl 102, Techniques in Reading and Writing, Spring 1993 and Fall 1992: Using department text Read, Reason, and Write, taught introductory logic, argument, analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and academic research.Organized two sections around the text Rereading America and encouraged the evaluation of race and gender relations, art, and politics in American society.


Engl 101A/101, Freshman Composition and Writing, Spring and Fall 1992: Using department text Crossing Cultures, taught different modes of writing, assigned a response/experience journal, and emphasized personalessays. Enlivened additional grammar module in 101A with class quizzes, individual writing pattern analysis, and connecting workbook grammar with literary usage.


Engl 002, Developmental English, Fall 1991: Emphasizing remedial composition, taught writing as process, stages of writing (pre-writing, writing, editing), and modes of writing--e.g., narrative, descriptive, persuasive. Assigned group and individual projects, creative writing exercises, a biweekly journal, individual conferences, and required attendance at a guest poetry reading (Carolyn Forche).


George Mason University, Dept. of English, Sep 1988 - May 1991 (Teaching Assistant)

Taught seven classes in the Department of English- two sections of Engl 206, two sections of Engl 205, and one section of Engl 101. Responsible for all aspects of course work, created syllabi, selected and assigned texts, and conducted classes.


Engl 206, Introduction to Literature, 20th Century Fiction and Essays, Spring 1991:Aiming at reflective and independent thought, used essays by Doris Lessing and Henry David Thoreau, novels by Chaim Potok and Richard Bausch, and a variety of short fiction to examine patriarchy, maturity, human relationships, and social awareness.Requirements included focused literary analysis, response papers, an individual creative project, and a group dramatic presentation.Classroom supplements included guest fiction readings (Richard Bausch and Lynna Williams).


Engl 205, Introduction to Literature, 20th Century Poetry and Drama, Fall 1990: Focusing on the evolution of American poetry, examined work by Whitman, Dickinson, Frost through the Modernists to Williams, Plath, Wright, and contemporary poets Gluck, Strand, and Forche; studies in drama included works by Ibsen, Albee, and Miller. Initiated and promoted discussions of prosody and dramatic strategy. Assigned both critical essays and creative work.Classroom supplements included video recordings of poets, a guest poetry reading (Susan Tichy).


Engl 101, Freshman Composition and Writing, Fall 1989 and Spring 1990: Focusing on writing as process, emphasized both creative and critical modes of discourse. Included the use of videos, guest fiction/poetry readings, the GMU literary review, response journals, group workshops, individual conferences and creative projects.Writing assignments included the personal experience essay, character study/interview, personal commentary, a short story and a research paper.Attendance at a visiting writer's reading was required.


The Writing Center, George Mason University, Fall 1988 - Spring 1990:Conducted individual and small-group tutorials for undergraduate and graduate students. Used non-directive and student error-analysis to elicit higher degrees of student involvement in the writing process.Conducted writing workshops open to all students, staff, and faculty in Creative Scientific Writing,and Editing & Revision. Organized and maintained the Writing Center library of publications.