Review Sample 2 - Elle Magazine (December 2012)

On Elsewhere by Richard Russo:

Russo explores the term “independence” deeply in this memoir. For his mother, independence meant proving herself as a single mother, but as the two grew older, independence became weighted with relationships, illness, and difficult life decisions. Russo questions what it means to be independent of your family, your hometown, and your past.

On Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter by Melissa Francis:

While Francis’s writing isn’t “high literary prose,” the tragedies of mental illness, denial, and death are moving. While watching re-runs of favorite TV shows, one often wonders what some of those kids ended up doing with their lives. If you’ve ever been interested in the high-stakes world of child acting, this memoir is worth a read.

On The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria:

Al-Maria’s memoir is as dazzling as the constellations in which she sections the book. We’re thrown into a very foreign place with rich detail, but Al-Maria makes it familiar by capturing the essence of desire: a rebellious child looking for direction, a moody teen in love, and the desire to know her people and family more intimately.

Originally published at ELLE Magazine.

Review Sample 1 - Elle Magazine (October 2013)

On Winter Journal by Paul Auster:

Winter Journal sparkles when it explores the body as holder of memory, of physical and emotional history. There are a few pages where the prose borders on poetry, where Auster evokes life’s quiet moments and imbues them with an unexpected emotional weight. But the extended second-person point of view, the constant listing of things, and occasional overstatement eventually exhausted me.

On All Gone by Alex Witchel:

All Gone is Witchel’s tribute to her mother, a once feisty, energetic college professor. When her mother begins to suffer from dementia, a disease that affects both mood and memory, Witchel must learn the brutal art of balance. She turns to the kitchen and recreates some of the most memorable recipes from her childhood and young adulthood. Witchel understands deeply the connection between food and memory; she also understands the false hope of illness—how we cloud our eyes with denial in order to live.

Originally published at ELLE Magazine.

Blog Sample 3 - The Minnesota Review | Relationship Workshop

About a month ago, my fiancé – who is also a poet in a MFA program – sat down to edit and write poems.

Yes, we’re that kind of couple. We’re long distance if you consider 3.5 hours away a long distance. We even video chat every night. When I was sick a couple of weeks ago, instead of recommending me chicken noodle soup, he read me three poems from Mathias Svalina’s Destruction Myth. I tried to pay attention to the poem about Larry Bird tinkering with watches, but was coughing too loudly to hear the whole thing.

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Blog Sample 2 - The Minnesota Review | What I Hate About Workshop

I’m nosy.

I can’t help it.

When I was growing up, one of my household chores was to answer the phone. I’d pick up the receiver and politely greet whoever was on the line.

My grandmother would holler downstairs, “Who is it?” And I’d yell back a name. During our exchange, I’d have the phone cupped in my hand, the other hand over the receiver blocking out the shouting or the sound of my breathing.

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Blog Sample 1 - VCU Department of Music

‘Tis the season…for recitals! Information for your recital flyers.

Ahh, it’s that time of the year! With so many junior, senior, and studio recitals/performances coming up near the end of the semester, I thought it would be good to share some tips for recital flyers.

No, VCU Music Marketing is not expecting you to suddenly be an award-winning photographer or Photoshop wizard. And no one is expecting you to spend hundreds of dollars on photo shoots and graphic design. But before you slap that fuzzy Instagram selfie onto piece of copy paper and call it a day, consider the following advice:

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Media Advisory Sample - Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Music

Media Advisory Sample - Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Music

Facebook engagement samples for Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Music

Newsletter Article Sample 6: VCU Music Out Loud - Christopher Mastromarino

Christopher Mastromarino, affectionately called “Mr. M” by the students he is leading at Matoaca Middle School in Chesterfield County, is a current undergraduate student in the Music Education program.

His musical journey began with the same tools that many others may remember fondly. The familiar story involves a second-hand piano and childhood music lessons. “When I was young,” Mastromarino reflected, “my father bought me a full-size piano.” The piano, perhaps found with the help of the local newspaper’s classified section, didn’t make lessons any easier for Mastromarino. But Elton John tunes played by ear kept his interest in piano fresh.

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Newsletter Article Sample 5: VCU Music Out Loud - Lisa Edwards-Burrs

Not many musicians can say that they’ve performed the national anthem for the President of the United States. Nor can many musicians say that their composer brother-in-law invited them to sing on anoriginal opera. In addition to her work as an educator, Soprano Edwards-Burrs is an accomplished performer. In articles and reviews, her voice has been praised for its “crystalline beauty,” regularly performing classical and sacred music, as well as her hallmark — opera.

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