New essay in River Teeth

We were early birds, bad girls, schemers, druggies. Aria and I only attended high school as freshmen; after that, we were independent study kids. While Analy High’s class of ’96 amassed memories to chronicle in yearbooks, we skulked around our small California town, smoking weed and later meth, hitchhiking, getting fucked up with grown men.…

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“Snakebit” in The Best American Essays 2017!

I’m over the moon! My essay “Snakebit,” originally published in The Threepenny Review, has been chosen for The Best American Essays 2017, edited by one of my literary heroes, Leslie Jamison. “Chasing Arrows,” published in New England Review, also received an honorable mention. This is proof positive that a new writer can still gain entrance to…

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“Finding El Saez” receives Honorable Mentions in Best American Essays 2018 and Best American Travel Writing 2018

We head west out of Havana in the early afternoon, my husband, Kevin, behind the wheel of our circa 1990 rented Geely sedan. The air feels like the inside of a mouth, and even though third gear sounds like an opera singer warming up and the stereo doesn’t work, we’re grateful for air conditioning. The…

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“Chasing Arrows” receives Honorable Mention in The Best American Essays 2017

He came from Florida, though I forgot which part as soon as he said it. Definitely not Miami. His skin was a fierce pink and he wore a turquoise Marlins baseball cap on backwards, a loose-fitting tank top, and board shorts. Pudgy, thirty-something, and reeking of booze. Something about the guy I liked. He had…

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“Birthday Suit” in Dig if You Will the Picture: Writers Reflect on Prince

Then I heard him. Don’t believe I was ever happy fiddling with dolls. Or skipping around the yard, tra-la. Adults invented the myth of the carefree childhood. As an only kid, I remember realizing—I must have been five or six—that no one would ever see who I truly was inside. Heartbreaking. Also, I remember hungering.…

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“In Any Light, By Any Name” in The Utne Reader

Utne Reader – Spring 2015 Originally published in Tin House – Winter 2014 My parents meet on a blind date in 1976. Richard with his leather cowboy hat and hand-painted jean jacket, Meridy with her purple turban and kohled eyes. He reads her aura; she reads his tarot cards. The first time they make love…

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Performing at THE MOTH GrandSLAM Championship – April 8th!

  San Francisco’s Inaugural GrandSLAM Championship: Fish Out of Water The Moth presents the GrandSLAM, a battle of wits and words – fierce, hilarious, heartbreaking and all points between. Listen as ten StorySLAM champs tell tales of being out of their element: the freak, the foreigner, dressed for the opera at the clambake, out of the loop,…

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“Wutown” in Defenestration Magazine

Here’s an excerpt. Read the full piece in Defenestration. 9:50AM I operate 01194, a white Plymouth bearing the sundial insignia of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. The steering wheel is constructed on the right, to facilitate chalking. I hang the chalking stick out the window and cruise up Fountain at 4 miles per hour,…

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The Litquake Author Interview

Alia Volz: Chaos in a Fur Coat See Alia Sunday, October 7, at Vesuvio for “Do You Come Here Often?”: Writers at the Bar, with Alan Black, Jack Boulware, Beth Lisick, Chuck Thompson, and Missy Robac. 1. What is your favorite book? It must be As I Lay Dying, because I’ve reread it more than any other…

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