BA, University of Massachusetts. MFA, Bennington College. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, Tin House, Fence, several Mississippi Review Prize issues, Encyclopedia (L-Z), Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, New Orleans Review, Nerve, Salt Hill, Cimarron Review, Unsaid, failbetter, and others. Anthologies include Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton), Boston Noir 2: the Classics (Akashic), and The Mississippi Review: 30 Years. Essays, reviews, and interviews in The Paris Review, Tin House, BOMB, BookForum, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Fiction (Oxford University Press), and others. Recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and a Connecticut state arts grant. Founding editor of Post Road Magazine, where he currently edits the Fiction and Theatre sections. SLC, 2013–
Current graduate courses
This workshop will combine discussions of student work with readings in theory and psychology. We'll also read stories from published writers whose work serves a particular discussion. Rather than approach traditional craft topics, I like to explore what drives the imagination, how stories harness and release their power at the point of cognition and reception. So we’ll talk about creative writing and the unconscious, narrative as dream, narrative desire, parable and tableau, space and time, repetition and difference, recursion and consecution, metaphor, and mimesis—and any number of other things. Because exploring these ideas allows us to better understand writing at a deeper level, allows our voice to draw out what we don’t know. Cynthia Ozick says: "When you write about what you don't know, this means you begin to think about the world at large. You begin to think beyond the home-thoughts. You enter dream and imagination...it's our will to enter the world...." Even the most grounded realism needs to enter the reader's mind like a dream. I want to get the class thinking about entering that broader world, about writing stories that don't ever leave their readers.
Students will explore techniques for generating, revising, and conceptualizing our fiction's deep structure, using ideas drawn from common and uncommon sources. We’ll discuss organizing principles found in organic matter, chance operations, dreams, psychology, narratology, mimesis, music theory, and film studies, among others. I’d like to convey just how many ways we can look at a text and find art in its arrangement. I feel that the more you know about the possibilities of form, the more you can stray from convention in your fiction without losing its cohesion and resonance. This class will touch on some topics that I discuss in workshop but will go much deeper, extending ideas and introducing many new ones.