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The Power of Storytelling

For the second year in a row, in October 2023, ARC, Inc., will be hosting a three-day writer's workshop for mitigators and attorneys working in the death penalty community! Come join us in Baltimore! For more information, visit ARC's website.

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Forthcoming in Fourth Genre

I'm pleased to announce that my essay, "Ballistics," a chapter from my book manuscript-in-progress entitled If You Give a Man a Gun, has been selected for inclusion in Fourth Genre's Fall 2023 issue. It's coming soon soon soon.

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Just Out! in Kenyon Review

I'm pleased to announce that my essay, "How to Tell A True Love Story," a chapter from my book manuscript-in-progress If You Give a Man a Gun, is included in Kenyon Review's Summer 2023 portfolio on women's health. 

2023 Alumni College Fellow

The Texas Tech Humanities Center has awarded me a $5,000 Fellowship to help support my research on an ongoing book project, I Have Failed to Tell This Story 100 Times, regarding our countries failure to assist immigrant children and the trauma we generate.

Reprint of "On Forgiveness"

My essay, "On Forgiveness," about finding grace while representing a young man facing the death penalty in Amarillo, Texas, has been reprinted for the second time in A Fire to Light Our Tongues, edited by Donna Walker Nixon and Elizabeth Joan Dell. Buy a copy here!

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Notable, Best American Essays 2021

My essay, "In the Moments Before Gunfire," published in Issue 24 of Hunger Mountain, was listed as a "Notable" essay in the BAE 2021 anthology (series editor: Robert Atwan; guest editor: Kathryn Schulz). ​​

TTU Humanities Center: Justice

The Texas Tech Humanities' Center has awarded me and Professor Patrick Metz, Director of the Trial Clinic and Capital Clinic at TTU School of Law, $30,000 to host a year-long lecture series on the topic of Justice in America! We'll be bringing attorney David Dow, poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, and journalist Alisa Roth to campus to discuss their work!

Reconnecting with Sweet

A followup interview with Sweet editors in their weekly reconnection series with contributors: I talk where I am now and where I'm headed. Read it here!

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Review of "Study in Self-Defense"

A big thank you to Kelsie Peterson for reviewing my flash essay, "Study in Self-Defense: Lubbock, Texas" (published in Brevity) for Read it here!

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Interview, For the Pages, KTXT Radio

On September 26, Betsy Blaney, producer at KTXT and former AP reporter, talked with me about my narrative work with death penalty lawyers on the radio show For the Pages. You can listen here!

Notable, Best American Essays 2018

My essay, "Remote Control," published in Issue 25 of under the gum tree, was listed as a "Notable" essay in the BAE 2018 anthology (series editor: Robert Atwan; guest editor: Hilton Als). ​​

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My story, "Brace Yourself," originally published in Prime Number Magazine, received a 2018 Pushcart Prize. Thanks to Kevin Watson (editor at PNM), David Jauss (judge of the PNM fiction contest), and Ayse Papatya Bucak for nominating me. And thanks to Bill Henderson for selecting my story for inclusion.

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My story, "Target," has won the 2017 Able Muse Write Now Prize for fiction. The competition was judged by Jill Alexander Essbaum, and "Target" was published in Volume 24.

Richard J. Margolis Award
for Social Justice Writing, 2017

So pleased to announce I've received the Richard J. Margolis Award for Social Justice Writing for my in-progress collection entitled I Have Failed to Tell This Story Fifty Times. The prize includes a $5,000 honorarium and a month-long residency at the Blue Mountain Center.

Writers Fighting for Social Justice,
NonfictioNow 2017

At NonfictioNow in Reykjavik, Iceland, I will join a panel of writers--Ayse Papatya Bucak, Sarah Viren, and Kathleen Blackburn--to discuss how writers craft narratives that work to generate genuine social reform instead of simply capitalizing on the suffering of vulnerable people and places.

Prime Number Magazine Fiction Prize

My story, "Brace Yourself," has received the 2017 Prime Number Magazine Fiction Prize, judged by David Jauss.

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In 2016, I wrote a monthly column for The Ploughshares Blog, featuring textual reviews and video book trailers. The column focused largely on just-released books that are considered literary and which participate in the larger conversation about issues of social justice.


Hours after receiving a death verdict in the Eric Williams trial in Kaufman, Texas, I completed the last step of a 2014 interview with the ABA Journal, regarding the use of storytelling in capital defense. The photo shoot was surreal and inappropriate, given the timing. Most bizarre experience of my life.

Soros Justice Fellowship, 2014-2015

In 2014-2016, I served as a Soros Justice Fellow, working to develop the use of narrative law as a method of defense in capital litigation to avoid death sentences. I worked with attorneys from the Regional Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases in Texas, as well as with other habeas and appellate attorneys across the country.

Time and Place Prize, 2014

Larry and Maria Chmielewski host The Time and Place Prize in Gourin, France, providing the winner with a month-long residency in their beautiful "baker's" cottage. I'm pleased to announce that Splitting, my hybrid memoir about my relationship with three horse trainers in the Colorado mountains, was selected as the 2014 winner.




Follow along on Instagram and Twitter! Check out my book reviews and trailers, produced for the Ploughshares blog and mounted on my YouTube channel InBookstoresNearYou. Or follow the IHLR Instagram page, LunchWithIronHorse, to see what Iron Horse editors are reading on our lunch breaks!

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