Newest Brief Essays

"Women's Hour, YMCA" featured in Kenyon Review Online

"I Second That Emotion" (craft essay) featured in New Ohio Review


Other Brief Essays

"Advanced Directive to My Future Roommate…"

"Things Gone the Way of Time," recently reprinted in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction (Norton)


Study with Rebecca this summer

Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, June 18-25


Kenyon Review PODCAST with Rebecca

(on memoir, genre-crossing, writing practice, and more)


Word Painting Revised Edition: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively

New edition includes over 100 writing exercises for all genres.

Word Painting

The Tribal Knot

Rebecca'a newest nonfiction book, The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change is now available from Indiana University Press and Amazon.

Tribal Knot

In the Face Of

                 for Ann Hood

Because we are not made of stone
and grief is not the end of us
(though we have begged that it be so)

your face is not the finished mask
a sculptor carves, as if to say
Here, forever, is the face

of a mother who has outlived a child.

And wouldn’t that be high relief:
to build a face from outside in,

to strap it on, a plate of sorrow
fixed in time. Bravery in the face of,
someone once wrote, meaning the granite

face of death that stares us down,
eye upon eye, daring us to break.
Yet brave beyond brave, your face

breaks open to allow the world back in.
I watch it swim behind your eyes,
violently brilliant, flashing its fin.

And now the roar--the pitch and roll
of memory’s waters, the shifting
pulse of daughter, mother. The quickening.

From Deep Light: New and Selected Poems
In the Face Of
More Poems on Loss, Grief and Healing