Teaching is an important part of my life as a writer. At Carnegie Mellon University, where I have been a member of the Creative Writing Program since 1991, I teach workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting. I also teach literature seminars, each time with a particular topic or focus. I love introducing students to a wide range of stories, books, and films, working with those who are just starting out and those who are serious writers.
In 2004, I was a Fulbright Lecturer, and taught creative writing at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. I’ve also given talks and taught short workshops at summer writing programs and conferences. Among them are the Best of Creative Nonfiction Conference, Carlow University, the Split Rock Arts Workshops, the Mid-Atlantic Creative Nonfiction Summer Writers’ Conference, the Ligonier Writers Conference, and summer writers conferences at Rutgers, Camden Campus, Sarah Lawrence, and many more.
My second daughter, Rachel, who was born in 1983, has intellectual disabilities and low vision. When she was five, I published Loving Rachel, a memoir about the first years of her life, and began to be invited to speak at conferences as a “parent-expert.” Since then, I’ve given talks and keynote addresses at professional conferences, and to parent groups, students, and general audiences. These include Perkins School for the Blind, the American Psychological Association, Grinnell College, Congregation Beth El in West Hartford, CT, Wheelock College, Boston, MA., and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt. It gives me great pleasure to share my experiences as the parent of a grownup daughter, who at present, after many, many bumps in the road, has a happy and meaningful life.