I Was Born...

…and raised in Minnesota—my father is a scientist and my mother is an artist, which perhaps explains a lot.  As a kid, one day my dad would be helping me out with my science project on the power of suggestion and the next my mom would be guiding me through the Minneapolis Institute of Art, showing me how the vines clinging to the post in James B. Read's "Portrait of a Boy" may represent his family's grief after his death.


I have taught writing at San Jose State University; the University of California, Berkeley; and  Saint Mary's College of Californiawhere I founded the UNDO IT Script Contest, which asks young, creative artists to adapt classic texts into contemporary plays.    I currently teach writing at Santa Clara University. 


As a writer, I have published my writing in the literary magazine Boulevard (“Jules Overman and the Birdfeeder Sarcophagus”), been awarded a writing fellowship from the Arrowhead Arts Council and theMcKnight Foundation, am currently finishing a novel, and have just published two writing textbooks: Slant: Writing Essays you Want to Read and Dubliners with a Guide to the Craft of Fiction.

I was the managing editor of the literary magazine Mary.


I’m a farmer in my own mind, who sometimes manages to escape the city to the northern woods of Minnesota, where I have raised free range chickens,


and am a builder of bent-wood furniture.  I founded American Rustic Furniture and build chairs in my workshop in San Leandro. 

I’m a big believer in curiosity, dreaming big, working hard, and feeling good all the time.  And I hope that everyone can find that one big love in life, because I found mine in my wife, “Montana.”