I’ve been an education junkie since “the cool teacher” lent me a copy of The Teenage Liberation Handbook in high school when I kept cutting class to play guitar. I dropped out at age sixteen to start college at Simon’s Rock, a tiny hippie school in the Berkshires where I studied Hawaiian language and wrote a novel for my thesis. I went to teacher school, wrote computer science curriculum for Google and Code.org, helmed classrooms in middle school, high school and college, and spent a year in Japan teaching English and eating all the food.
I caught the dj bug in grad school and I’ve been bonkers about college radio ever since. I’ve hosted a mix of music shows including “The DJ Never Has It” (indie/punk, here and here) at KZSU and “Blank-Wave Arcade” (new wave/goth/industrial) at WJCU, and you can occasionally hear me spin stompy synth in dance clubs as Merricat McGee. My audio narrative “Goth Grows Up,” produced at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, was a Finalist for The Missouri Review’s 2021 Miller Audio Prize. I also wrote and produced the 7-part investigative true crime series “Lost In Panama” for Kast Media in 2022.
I love to write and tell stories. My bachelor’s thesis was a novel about surfing, siblings, punk rock and Los Angeles, and my first internships out of college were at Random House and the MIT Press. I studied fiction with David Yoo at Writers in Paradise and at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop with Angie Cruz and Nick White. I currently serve as editorial liaison for The Common, Amherst College’s literary magazine. My essays have been published in The Washington Post and in the anthology Red State Blues: Stories from Midwestern Life on the Left.
Ask me about my novel-in-progress Basement Tapes, which is about high school, mixtapes, marching band, the NYC rock revival, sasscore, Columbine, 9/11, Radiohead, Tarantino, straight edge tattoos, mysterious throat injuries, accidental triads, and bad formative relationships. It’s great! Still drafting my second novel-in-more-dire-progress Kid Midnight, which is about time travel, climate catastrophe, and vampires. Hey, pick your poison.
I write grant applications, fundraise, and generally find the money for Lake Erie Ink, a nonprofit that provides writing and self-expression opportunities for Cleveland youth. I also run an annual workshop for Ideastream Public Media, training members of the Cleveland community to write and report short podcasts. I teach high school computer science online for the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, and I still fly to Kansas City every summer to help grade the AP CSA exam.