As is true of many writers, my writing started with words scribbled in notebooks hidden away in bedroom desk drawers. As the years passed, my interest evolved from writing for my own emotional needs to constructing well-written pieces with the goal to be of value to other people as well. After completing a bachelor's degree in business administration, several years of attending workshops and writing groups, and participating in local readings, I returned to school to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College. My first book of poetry, Where We Start, was published by Cascadia Publishing House in March 2007.
I was first introduced to Wising Up Press when I submitted poems for the anthology Families: The Frontline of Pluralism. The description of this anthology begins: "The difficulties of living up close and personal with diversity - of sensibility, race, culture, class, or religion - is the subject of the stories, memoirs, and poetry in this anthology." This could describe the focus of my writing as well. It has been influenced by my experiences growing up in the Mennonite community, which has become the background for a probing exploration of the relationship between individual identity and community loyalty. This tension has been expanded as I also creatively investigate my husband's unique and difficult Eastern European upbringing, born and raised in the former Yugoslavia with a Serbian Orthodox mother and Bosnian Muslim father where community and religious loyalty turned into war.
Following my experience being published in Families, I was invited to join the Wising Up Press Writers Collective and have found a family there. This collective has given me a writing community, so important after leaving the community of graduate school. More importantly, this community shares my goal as a writer of "finding the we in them, the us in you." I love being counted among a group of writers who are "talented, experienced, realistic and idealistic."
Like the works published by Wising Up Press, my writing is a part of the tradition of Auden's Prospero poet, one who seeks to delineate values and respond to "our historical existence with all its insoluble problems and inescapable suffering." My poems aim to seek this stance without simplifying or preaching, using a keen sense of paradox and wit, an openness to surprising turns, and willingness to defer comfort and resolution. I continue to strive to write poetry that meets these goals and being a part of the Wising Up Press Writers Collective helps me do that.