On January 16, 2020, I gave a reading from Blackbird Blues at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore on the University of Chicago campus, and discussed it with Kenneth Warren, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago. I want to express my deep gratitude to Ken for…

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On January 16, 2020, I will be giving a public reading from Blackbird Blues at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Hyde Park, 5751 S Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm, right on the campus of the University of Chicago. I am very grateful to the Co-op for giving me this opportunity to present…

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On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, I am going to give a reading from Blackbird Blues at the Center for the Study of Religion at UCLA for members of the campus community and of the wider public. Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm. Place: Kaplan 365

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More than a year ago, on September 11, 2018, I gave a reading from Blackbird Blues at the Pilsen Community Bookstore, under the auspices of the Writer’s Studio at the University of Chicago Graham School. I never mentioned it here because Blackbird Blues had not yet been published, and my website was not yet up…

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Céline Keating’s Layla is a spell-binding coming-of-age novel that brings to life the political activism of the 1960s and the toll it takes on one family. Intricately plotted and exquisitely written, the story opens with Layla’s dying mother sending her on a cross-country trip to learn about the father she has never known. From New York…

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I’m looking forward to attending the annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Portland, OR, from March 27–30.

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Blackbird Blues raises questions about what constitutes a family, what family members owe each other, especially their children, and what they owe themselves. Voices of two women from two different generations tell their stories: Sister Michaeline in her 1940’s diary and Mary Kaye O’Donnell in the main text, set in 1963. After I finished writing Blackbird…

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