I've spent over two decades as a literature and writing teacher, but I've also been an editor, writer, community relations specialist, environmentalist, basketball coach, wife, mother, world traveler, gardener, photographer, and more.
Born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, I moved at age one to the Washington, DC, area, which I consider my home base and hometown. I've also lived in Charlottesville, VA (where I earned my BA in English and Economics and MA in English), and Knoxville, TN (where I served briefly on the board of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild). I now find myself back in my birth state, living in State College, PA, where I teach writing and serve as Assistant Director of the Creative Writing Program at Penn State University.
In high school and college, I spent many hours not only on the basketball court but also in darkrooms, watching black-and-white images emerge from pungent chemical baths. The digital age of photography has reawakened my love of photography and opened new windows for me and my students to explore the power of images in communication.
My essays, stories, and poems have appeared in such publications as Isthmus; Gargoyle Magazine; Superstition Review; Storyscape Literary Journal; Brain, Child; Literary Lunch; and Literary Mama. I have earned prizes from the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, the National League of American Pen Women, and the Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State. My essay "I Slept Well If You Slept Well" was selected as one of the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2015, listed in Best American Essays 2016. You can read some of my writing on the "Writing Samples" page of this site.
If you'd like to be in touch, you can reach me at: acj137 (at) psu.edu.