When did you first feel like a writer?
The first poem I ever read to an audience was an ode to my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Haller, titled "Hot Lips Haller." It made both of us blush. Not sure that made me a writer, but it definitely made me realize the power of words.
What's your philosophy about teaching a writing class?
Writers know, sometimes only subconsciously, what they need. A teacher's job is to help them tear away the debris to find the treasure. It's best if this takes place in a community of support, but with the understanding that each person has to work hard and respect everyone, including themselves.
If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Even though I haven't read it in years, Huck Finn is the first to come to mind. Who wouldn't want to go floating down the river with a friend named Jim. And who wouldn't also want to be named after a huckleberry!?