Major: MFA Creative Writing and Poetics

BA: Culture, Literature, and The Arts

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Nothing can empower you more than the music of your own voice beating against the threat of silence. Every time you write you are asserting yourself to the world; I have a voice, I have value. And we all have value. We all have a story. If nothing else, everybody has in them a moment waiting to writhe up and grow teeth and sweep the world.

I began writing around age 13 when I realized language was a form of music. My sister would play Led Zeppelin and Eminem CDs in the basement. I had a boom box and a skateboard. Every night I studied rap lyrics and found ways to incorporate the flow into my school papers. A few years later I got into performance poetry. Performing on stage and trusting my voice enabled me to compete at the National Poetry Slam which was filmed by HBO in 2008. I am still following that dream at UW Bothell as a graduate student in the Creative Writing and Poetics program.

The best thing I’ve learned from writing is how to survive the world by banging it into a graceful shape. Everybody has experiences that are worth writing about. I encourage students to trust their voice. Writing well is a matter of believing in the value of your experience.

My goal at the WaCC is to help students find the music in their writing. There is a drumbeat in your pen. There is a guitar solo in your essay. Don’t get me wrong- research and formalities are crucial. But you can always find a way to put yourself into a piece of writing. So no matter what the assignment is, let’s jam out.