The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat

The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage

Roost Books, 2013
This book, co-edited with Lisa Catherine Harper, offers an original and timely perspective on the ongoing debate about how American families eat. Essays by parents, chefs, journalists, and food writers show that good family food involves more than serving a healthy dish. In the blog, Learning to Eat, Lisa and I write about the food we cook with and for our families, day in and day out.

Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life

Rutgers University Press, 2008
Co-edited with Elrena Evans, Mama, PhD is a literary anthology of personal essays by women working both in and out of higher education, writing about their experiences as they choose to have, not have, or delay children. The essays in this anthology speak to and offer support for any woman attempting to combine work and family, and make recommendations on how to make the academy a more family-friendly workplace. Bob Drago, author of Striking a Balance: Work, Family, Life, calls the book “easily the most important piece of work to date on academics and family issues, full-stop.”


You can find more of my essays online or collected in anthologies available online or at your local bookstore:

“Land Acknowledgement,” co-written with my husband Tony, at GIA Reader

“Black Box,” in Labor of Love: A Literary Mama Staff Anthology

“Launching,” at Literary Mama

“Alone,” at Mutha Magazine

“The Ikebana Shears,” at The Keepthings.

“At the Movies,” in The Pandemic Midlife Crisis: Gen X Women on the Brink, edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger.

“Just Nerves,” published in Calyx, volume 32 no. 2, and available to read here or listen to me read it here.

“Driving Lessons” at Your Teen

“A Handbook for Grieving” in The New York Times

“My mom taught me about bread. When she died, all I could do was bake.” at The Washington Post

“Sandwiched,” at The Washington Post

“I Once Was Blind,” co-written with my husband, Tony, for the GIA Reader

“Fragile” in Here in the Middle: Stories of Love, Loss, and Connection From the Ones Sandwiched In Between, edited by Christine Organ and Julie Jo Severson (220 Communications, 2016) and republished at Role Reboot.

“Dumped by My Matchmaker” first published on Ozy, and now available on the Internet Archive.

“Dawn Wall” originally published on The Mid and republished at Role Reboot

“Fading,” winner of The Monthly’s winter essay contest and republished at Role Reboot

“In Nancy’s Kitchen” in Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal, edited by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite (NYU Press) and available to read here

“Picking Berries with Granddad” in Grand Magazine

“The Birth I Wanted” in Birth Writes: A Collection of Real Life Birth Stories, edited by Carole Monnier Clark (Inner Roads Sophrology, 2016)

“Snapshots from AWP” at Literary Mama

“A Conversation with Emily Barton” in Literary Mama

“Five Family Favorites” in The Children’s Book Review

“From Pitch to Publication: Learning How to Work With an Editor,” in Women Writing on Family Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing, edited by Suzann Holland and Carol Smallwood (The Key Publishing House Inc.)

“Afternoon Snack Ideas” in Macaroni Kids

“An Interview with Nicki Richesin” in Literary Mama

“Earthquake Country” in Salon

“Things No One Will Tell You: Literary Mama Writes Motherhood Outside the Mainstream Media” in The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Activist Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How to Do It, edited by Andrea O’Reilly (Demeter Press)

“A Conversation with Pamela Tanner Boll,” in Literary Mama

“The Cookie,” first published in Hip Mama and reprinted in A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers, edited by Colleen Sell (Adams Media)

“Wonderful Life,” in The Ultimate Christmas, edited by Jeanne Bice (Health Communications, Inc.)

“Caring for Children and Their Parents,” in Inside Higher Ed

“The Quest for Balance and Support,” in Inside Higher Ed

“MLA Realities, Then and Now,” in Inside Higher Ed

“A Conversation with Gail Konop Baker,” in Literary Mama

“3,000 Miles, Two Writers, One Book,” co-written with Elrena Evans, in The Debutante Ball

“Summer Reading,” in Motherverse, Issue 7 (2007)

“Mama Sez” in Literary Mama

Literary Mama

I served five years as the editor-in-chief of Literary Mama, an online literary magazine featuring writing about the complexities and many faces of modern motherhood. Writer’s Digest has twice named the site one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers, and it has been a Forbes Magazine Best of the Web pick as well.

Literary Mama was founded in 2003, having evolved quickly from a local mothers’ writing group into a literary journal which publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, book reviews and profiles of artists and writers. Today Literary Mama’s diverse editors work from four countries and reach over 40,000 monthly readers.

Mama at the Movies

I spent nearly three years writing a dissertation about American cinema that about seven people read. In this column, I wrote shorter pieces for a broader audience, a monthly column which looked at how motherhood and the family are portrayed in a variety of films, from Hollywood blockbusters to independently-produced documentaries.