A bit about me: I grew up on a cattle ranch in western South Dakota, where I learned to ride horses, drive tractors, and fix fences. My mother tells me I wrote my first “book” at age five, and I’ve been writing ever since. The desire to write led me to Augustana University, a small liberal arts college in Sioux Falls, S.D., where I graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in journalism and philosophy. After graduation I served for a year as special sections editor at an agricultural newspaper in Sioux Falls. I moved to Florida in 2010 to work as a writer and photographer for Cross International, a Christian humanitarian aid organization.
Meanwhile, I was advancing my personal freelance career and considering a master of fine arts degree in creative writing. After two years with Cross International, I enrolled in Florida Atlantic University’s graduate creative writing program and received my MFA in nonfiction in 2015. While at FAU, I taught undergraduate creative writing and academic composition. I continue to teach memoir and poetry classes for lifelong learners through FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society.
After graduation, I was blessed to be hired part-time as Communication/Media Coordinator for St. Gregory’s, a job I love immensely. When I’m not at St. Gregory’s, I’m at home writing works of literary journalism, narrative nonfiction, literary fiction, and poetry. My writing often focuses on agriculture, food, the environment, the farmer identity, personal relationships, and animals. With my South Dakota background, I am particularly interested in the prairie and rural life.
My work has appeared in Devil’s Lake, The Chronicle Review, Farm and Ranch Living, Coastlines, and SCOPE. My essay “Greyhound” is the winner of the 2015 Payton James Freeman Essay Prize and is forthcoming in The Rumpus. My short story “The Wickedest Thing They Ever Saw” was a finalist for the 2014 Devil’s Lake Annual Driftless Prize in Fiction, and my essay “Winter” won the 2013 Aisling Award in Nonfiction from Coastlines.
I live in Boca Raton with my wonderful husband and fellow South Dakota native, Ryan, and our retired racing greyhound, Dakota. We love to travel internationally and domestically, visit our families in South Dakota, and go camping.