My roots are in the northeastern wilderness watersheds of Minnesota and in the headwaters of the Mississippi where I was born. Prairie grasses and native flowers filled my St. Paul yard. I am finding my way into community with my new neighbor plants and animals when I’m at the home in Seattle that my children and I are developing. I explore with others ways to protect and delight in all our watersheds.
I was born into a community of story-tellers; stories have been a way to explore, discover, comfort, and embolden. We know that the waters have stories. What I learned from the wilderness woods and waters, I have tried to pass on to others. What I have learned from the stories my students and others have offered to me has enriched my world and understanding. I am striving to discover new stories and new ways of telling old stories that more deeply recognize people and other beings indigenous to the lands I live on and to explore the choices made (and not made) by my settler ancestors and myself.
After getting a BA in literature and writing and then a PhD in cross-cultural education, I taught writing and global studies at Minneapolis College for 31 years. Since becoming Type 1 diabetic, I’ve discovered ways that personal body troubles can parallel ecosystem distress and help us rise to the challenge of both.
I work for ecological justice and effective responses to climate trauma with my family, my students, my local Transition Town, Minnesota 350.org, Seattle 350.org, Quaker communities, the Minnesota Women’s Press, Climate Land Leaders – just about anyone who is willing to collaborate with me.
In Spring 2021, Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress, was published by the University of Minnesota Press.
Winner, Minnesota Book Award, 2022, for Watershed
Artist Residency, Hinge Arts, Springboard for the Arts, Fergus Fall, MN, May 2021
Writing Residency, Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes, CA, March 2018
- “Expanding Our Personal and Professional Desegregated Networks” – Mayo Clinic Health System, online, August 2022
- “Making Art for the Land We Love” – Lyric Center for the Arts, Virginia, MN, August 2022
- Readings and Discussions at Minnesota libraries in Brainerd, Northfield, Plainview, Austin, and West Concord, summer 2022
- Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress – University of Minnesota Press, May 2021
- The Curious, Proud Diabetic, Park Bugle Newspaper – March 2022
- Reading Buddies for a just, equitable world: A report and invitation, Park Bugle Newspaper – February 2022
- “Perspective: On the Range and in the City,” Minnesota Women’s Press, October 2021
- “The creek under your street” – Park Bugle Newspaper – May 2021
- “Unearned White Privilege” – Park Bugle Newspaper – September 2020
- “How Does Your Watershed Flow?” – Park Bugle Newspaper – March 2020
- “Listening Circles” – Dark Mountain, 17 – Spring 2020
- “A model farm restores land to health” – Park Bugle Newspaper – September 2019
- “Biological Means to Remove Sulphur” – Hometown Focus Newspaper – September 2013 & 2018
- Minneapolis Friends Meeting website: “Bravery and Balm” and “Also Joy” – 2013 – 2016
- Star Tribune Commentary: “PolyMet proposal: The complexity of it all” – February 1, 2014
- Three Profiles for White Iron Chain of Lakes newsletter – 2013 – 2014
- Earlier Publications:
– “Mothers and Aunts; Women of the 1920s in Polk County, Minnesota”; Out of the Earth, Like Iron, Iron Range Documentation Project
– “Mulford; Quiet Teacher with a Red Tie” (Minnesota Historical Society)
– “A Young Girl’s Move to Babbitt in 1959” (Minnesota Historical Society)
– “Speaking in Many Tongues” (Loft Center for Writers)