I grew up in the North Shore of Chicagoland–Lake Michigan a bike ride to the East, the city a Metra ride to the SouthEast. We could see the Sears Tower from the top of the waterslide at the pool. I went to college in Kalamazoo, Michigan because a) once my extended family when on a vacation to Michigan when I was in high school and 22 of us stayed in a double-wide trailer and a few tents and it was the only vacation I remember and b) Kalamazoo College sends every junior abroad for their junior year. I went to Aberdeen, Scotland. I want to go back. I stayed in Michigan because I got a boyfriend and got cervical cancer as a fun gift! and then got married at 24 and worked as a factory girl, a waitress, a receptionist, an assistant librarian in a one-room rural library, choir manager, alto section leader, freelance singer, preschool teacher, then I went to grad school, became an adjunct instructor at a community college, got a tenure-track teaching job, bought a house next to an abandoned paper mill, had a baby, got divorced, sold the house when I was 30. Phew. That’s a lot.
In 2014, my son, my two dogs, and two cats moved from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Portland, Oregon where we now have only one dog (RIP Max, the craziest of crazy dogs), four cats, three chickens (FOR NOW) and a growing urban homestead. I work as a college dean/Sith Lord, sing with as many choirs as I can in Portland, run in as many road races as I can, and grow more zucchini than any one family could ever use in a lifetime. I was once told by a famous poet-dude that no one wants to read poems about motherhood, or breastfeeding, or bread rising on the counter. But fuck that dude–if you don’t tell your story, no one else will. Write whatever the hell you want. Be fierce.