Poet, memoirist, professor, and mother of two, I write at the intersection of experience and research to figure life out. My work can help you make meaning, too. I’m fueled by painting and sculpture, international travel, medical science, world history, and the tensions in contemporary culture. Let’s connect.
I’m the author of five volumes of poetry: Untrussed (University of New Mexico Press 2016), Snow, Salt, Honey (Red Dragonfly Press 2012), Keeping Them Alive (WordTech Editions, 2011), and Postcard on Parchment (ABZ Press 2008). My poems, creative nonfiction, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Calyx, Arts & Letters, and North American Review. My piece “An Archeology of Secrets” was a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2012, and my essay “Disordered” won the 2014 Lyric Essay Contest at the Lindenwood Review. I’m an Associate Professor in the English Department at South Dakota State University.
I was born in Des Moines, Iowa on May 3, 1973 and studied English education and writing at the University of Northern Iowa. After spending two years teaching at Tarsus American College in Turkey, I moved back to the States to attend graduate school at Arizona State University and received a M.A. in 2000. In 2002, I enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I studied with Ted Kooser, Hilda Raz, and Grace Bauer. I gave birth to my oldest son, Holden, in January 2006. After taking my Ph.D. in 2007, I moved to Brookings, South Dakota where I teach primarily creative writing at South Dakota State University. I gave birth to my second son, Xavier, on May 2015. I’m married to the architecture professor Brian Rex.
Favorite Comfort Foods: my mother’s cinnamon rolls and Turkish lentil soup
Favorite Martial Art Techniques: Monkey Elbow (kenpo) and any aikido hand lock
Favorite Director of Photography: My brother, Terrance D. Stewart
Favorite Nonfiction Reading Subjects: feminist theory and comparative religion
Latest Academic Interests: architecture and medical understanding of the brain
Favorite International Cities I’ve Visited: Kyoto, Jaipur, Berlin, Cork, Safronbolu, Prague, and Krakow (not in that order)
Favorite Food Addiction: chocolate
Favorite Music: Anything that DJ T. Rex plays during dinner preparation