why i write

I’m drawn to the essay’s fluid form. I love both writing and reading essays. But, not all essays. I’m attracted to certain minds, Joanne Beard, Lauren Slater, Phillip Lopate, Leslie Jamison, Jessica Hendry Nelson, Brett Lott, Dinty Moore—I could go on. So many wonderful writers working in what has become known as the fourth genre these days.

I love writing essays because an essayist gets to have opinions. She writes her musings on movies, literature, friendship, family, history, travel. Yet, few essayists stay inside any particular narrow place. Essayists meander. But not off the subject. Always, there is a thread, and that thread is the writer’s mind— the reason a reader follows the writer on her journey. In school settings, the essay is usually broken into pieces: argument, persuasion, personal, analytical, personal, memoir—when really the essay is all of those pieces. and more…



  • Auvillar’s Secret – finalist Tiferet Journal, 2016 Writing Contest
  • Houses – Nominated for Best Of The Net, 2014; nominated for Pushcart Prize (published in Ascent)
  • Pilgrimage – Short Nonfiction Award finalist, 2014 Maine Literary Awards (published in Ploughshares)
  • Hiding – Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2013 (published in Ascent)
  • Circling My Father – Winner Michael Steinberg Essay award 2010 (published in Fourth Genre)


featured post

“Brown Leather Satchel” Published in Fourth Genre

Delighted to have "Brown Leather Satchel" in the current issue of Fourth Genre. http://msupress.org/journals/fg/ The essay is adapted from a chapter in my manuscript, Unearthing Stories of Jewish Women in Vichy France. Unearthing Stories of Jewish Women in Vichy France tells the intertwined true stories of four women, three French one American. Inga Borhmann, now Yvonne, is one of the French women. I am the American. The essay begins: December 27, 1938. Ludwigshafen, Germany. Inga Borhmann, age nine, adjusted the strap of her brown leather satchel. It was a small satchel, shaped like an envelope, and it hung low below her hip bone. Inside, she ...
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