My books include The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and Save The World (Cascade Books, 2018), The Writer’s Eye: Observation and Inspiration for Creative Writers (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Eldorado, Iowa: A Novel (Bowen Press Books, 2019), and Advanced Fiction Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic in 2023. Recently, I completed Creature: A Novel of Mary Shelley. Featuring chapters on Byron, the Shelleys, William Blake, Anna Barbauld, Mary Wollstonecraft, and John Keats, my nonfiction book in progress, An Awful Rainbow: Reading the Romantics in a World on Fire, blends memoir and scholarship to argue that these writers can teach us how to live richly and responsibly in our challenging, still-beautiful world.
At Luther College, I teach creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry), Paideia (Luther’s first-year common course), Romanticism, Medicine in Literature, and the self-designed study-abroad courses “In Frankenstein’s Footsteps: The Keats-Shelley Circle in London, Geneva, and Italy” and “English Monsters: From Frankenstein to Big Brother.” In the spring of 2019, I directed the London portion of the “London and Florence: Arts in Context” program for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), spending five months in the city that – next to Oak Bowery, Alabama – is my favorite place in the world.
Relatively Recent Recommended Reading
- The Old Enemy and anything else by Henry Porter
- Intensive Care by Gavin Francis
- The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
- Leading Men by Christopher Castellani
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty from a Hospital Diary, Timothy Snyder
- Restoration, Rose Tremain
- The Vampire: A New History, Nick Groom
- An Elephant in Rome, Loyd Grossman
What I'm Writing
- Creature: A Novel of Mary Shelley
- Advanced Fiction Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (for Bloomsbury Academic)
- An Awful Rainbow: Reading the Romantics in a World on Fire
… and more.