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

There Are Days

There are days when nothing
especially goes right but nothing
wrong, and you find yourself
writing to your sister-in-law
to thank her for the lemon cake
she baked that time, and for loving
your brother all these years. 
Three, maybe four times that day
you praise whoever is responsible
for letting you pee so easily,
without pain, without the tubes
and bags your uncle rolled on a cart
beside him that last year. You dig
in the garden until sweat pearls
your lip and you taste the salt
you have made, remembering the poem
a small girl wrote after her father was shot:
I love myself because I am not dead.
In bed that night you spread your toes. 
The furnace of your brain warms
the pillow, the heart’s engine ticks,
and the lungs, those meaty wings,
flutter and empty, flutter
and empty, lifting you into sleep.

From Deep Light: New and Selected Poems
There Are Days
Rebecca reads this poem

More Poems on Loss, Grief and Healing