“Some things are lacking.”

A favorite poem that I can't stop re-reading by a new favorite poet. "Desunt Nonnula" by Kaveh Akbar. (copied and pasted from Bennington Review) If you haven't read Calling A Wolf A Wolf... Do yourself a favor and read it! Desunt Nonnula means "some things are lacking." It was the last line in a "continuous" poem... Continue Reading →

6 Word Memoirs & Ghost Selves

Reading old journals this morning in search of clarity...finding something else. It's like reading a ghost of myself. In April 2017 I took a personal essay class and we wrote 6-word memoirs as an exercise and shared them aloud. I think I chose to share #4 - which takes the cake. The memoirs below; successful... Continue Reading →

Xmas was…

A dutch baby for breakfast. Lots of coffee. And reading poetry to each other; Leonard Cohen's THE BOOK OF LONGING And thus new traditions were born

Why I can’t write a good personal essay

Tenure, She Wrote

I haven’t gotten a pay check since my fellowship ran out in 2017. Funding is scarce for students in the end of their PhDs and scarcer still for international students with disabilities, so it’s not too surprising that I’ve been turned down for everything I’ve applied for.

Almost 5 years ago, I wrote with regard to applications for funding and otherwise:

Use your story and the survival skills you’ve gained to succeed. I use my escape from rural poverty in personal statements to show that I have incredible drive, creativity, and independence.

But I just can’t do it any more. I can’t make my life a funny, moving, educational story for someone else to judge.

I used to follow my own advice. I turned the ways in which I don’t fit neatly into the world into pat inspiration porn. I talked about disability, adverse childhood experiences, being queer in a…

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