About me

Photo by Felicia Graham, 2020

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I was born in Texas and I’ve lived in Austin for the last twenty or so years. I am a senior lecturer at Texas State University, where I teach literature and creative writing. In the past I’ve worked as a bartender, a barista, airport ground crew for FedEx, a warehouse assistant for a birthday party supply company, and a longshoreman.

My short fiction and novellas have appeared in Pank, West Branch, The Seattle Review, Big Fiction, Meridian, and online at The Adroit Journal and Tin House. My essays have been published by Southern Humanities Review, The Texas Review, and online at The Millions. To find links to my work, visit the Read Something page of this site.

Some of my favorite writers are Valeria Luiselli, Ben Lerner, Amelia Gray, Etgar Keret, Joan Didion, Alejandro Zambra, Tim O’Brien, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Haruki Murakami, and Franz Kafka. I also maintain a scholarly side hustle writing about Kurt Vonnegut.

I enjoy coffee, hiking, riding my bike, looking at art, chewing gum, and staring off into space. I also love traveling to share my work, and in the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to read for audiences in Seattle, San Francisco, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Lisbon.

Curriculum Vitae

Recent Appearances

Panel: Space Is the Place: Literary Spatialities and New Approaches to Placemaking
Organizer and Presenter, AWP 2020, San Antonio, Texas
With Ito Romo, Syed Ali Haider, and D.J. Lee

Reading: Excerpt from What Is a Beach?: Family History, Erasure, and Littoral Spatialities
Presenter, MLA International Symposium 2019, Lisbon, Portugal
Chair: Iona Luca; Discussant: Tatiana Kuzmic

Paper: “Kurt Vonnegut and Carl Sagan: A Tale of Two Assholes”
Presenter, American Literature Association 2018, San Francisco, California

Short Story Reading: “Angle & Distance”
Panelist, Northeast Modern Language Association 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Awards

Winner, 2016 Texas Observer Short Story Contest
Judged by Amelia Gray

Winner, 2013 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest
Juried Competition

Honorable Mention, 2012 Glimmer Train New Writers Award
Editor’s Prize

Winner, 2011 Avery Anthology Small Spaces Prize
Judged by Junot Díaz

Nominations

Nominee, Pushcart Prize: 2018, 2017, 2013, 2011, 2008, 2005

Nominee, 2017 Best of the Web

Interviews

The Daily Vonnegut

Ploughshares

Read to Write Stories

West Branch Wired

The Committee Room

Sou’wester