m a r g i n a l i a

notes from a creative writing PhD candidate

on reading for phd comprehensive exams

“The PhD is the best gift you will ever give yourself.” Author Roxane Gay gave us–a group of fangirling, bushy-tailed creative writing PhD candidates–this tiny morsel of encouragement last year … Continue reading

July 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

Book Review: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

After devouring Ta-Nehisi Coates’ National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me in a single afternoon, I came away from my reading wholly impressed by the author’s brilliance, eloquence, and … Continue reading

April 27, 2016 · 1 Comment

medicine, madness, ironmans, & travel: 4 nonfiction reading recommendations

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan (2013) I flew through this one–a random, impulse purchase from the helter-skelter book section in a local Wal-Mart–in two days. … Continue reading

June 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

a conversation with writer j.c. hallman, author of b & me

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of spending an afternoon at Open City, a diner and bar in D.C., in the company of writer J.C. Hallman, author of six books of … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

book review: ultrarunner scott jurek’s eat & run

“I belong to a small, eclectic community of men and women where status is calibrated precisely as a function of one’s ability to endure.” Recently I finished reading Eat & … Continue reading

May 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

teaching food studies: article/essay hits and misses

This past semester I moved up the academic ranks from teaching First Year Composition to Advanced Composition, where I have a bit more freedom in regards to selecting texts.  Since … Continue reading

April 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

notable mention in the best american essays 2014!!

An essay I wrote in graduate school, “Missed,” was published last year in The Masters Review, an annual journal of graduate student writing.  Last year’s volume featured ten writers whose work … Continue reading

October 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

stephen king, “on writing: a memoir of the craft”

“Life isn’t a support-system for art.  It’s the other way around.” Steven King’s book impressed me beyond my expectations: he’s hilarious, inspiring, and a fantastic teacher.  Sure, he’s made millions with … Continue reading

October 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

an interview with mary roach

In October 2011 I wrote this blog post for the Phoebe literary magazine’s blog.  An early birthday present from my editor, I was given the opportunity to interview Mary Roach, … Continue reading

September 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

margaret talbot on writing

Over a year ago, in April 2013, I had the opportunity to meet author Margaret Talbot.  Margaret, a staff writer at The New Yorker, gave me and a few other … Continue reading

September 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

when trees dream of being trees

The tree decided to stop growing after it grew its thousandth leaf. “No more,” it whispered, and started throwing flimsily attached twigs and old nests down, and shaking the birds … Continue reading

September 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

rainbow rowell’s (not so young) adult fiction

When I visited Mexico City this April, I couldn’t help but notice dozens of teenagers and college students toting around a book with a bright blue, simply designed cover.  They were immersed, … Continue reading

September 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

already possessed: why, only 10 pages in, i can’t get enough of elif batuman

Possessed: what an astute name for the way we can become completely entranced by a book.  It happens quickly; it only takes a few pages, or paragraphs, for us to … Continue reading

July 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

i was told there’d be cake: essays by sloane crosley

Is Sloane Crosley “the female David Sedaris”?  Some critics have hailed her so, but for every person who thinks I Was Told There’d Be Cake is as funny, well-rendered, and … Continue reading

July 10, 2014 · 3 Comments

if you like running (or just really inspiring, interesting books), read these.

More in-depth reviews of these books will be posted soon, but I just had to share my epic running reading list from the past month.  If you know of any … Continue reading

July 7, 2014 · 4 Comments

ernesto “che” guevara – excerpts on education & healthcare from “the motorcycle diaries”

“In the way I traveled, first as a student and afterward as a doctor, I began to come into close contact with poverty, with hunger, with disease, with the inability … Continue reading

May 22, 2014 · 2 Comments

love & death in the balkans: brkic’s “the stone fields”

“What is a moment of death compared to a lifetime of it?” Book Review: Courtney Angela Brkic’s The Stone Fields, 2005 The Stone Fields alternates between a chronological historical recounting of Brkic’s father’s family … Continue reading

May 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

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