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I am a writer living in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, the city where my parents, both immigrants, met, married, and settled soon after World War II. Tasa’s Song is my first novel and it is informed and inspired by my mother’s early life in eastern Poland. I’m proud that the novel received a Bronze Medal for Historical Fiction from the Independent Publisher Award Program, was a Historical Fiction finalist in the Foreword INDIES Book Awards, and garnered widespread praise, including from Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
A little background: I attended Columbus public schools, and that seeded my life-long advocacy of public education. I graduated from University of Pennsylvania and have an MA degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University. I’ve worked as a magazine reporter and correspondent for regional and national publications, a magazine writing instructor at Wayne State University while briefly living in Detroit, and a corporate communications and public affairs executive within the cable television and broadcasting industries in New York City. I co-authored a book about nutrition a long time ago (The Real Life Nutrition Book; Penguin, 1992). For many years, I authored guest columns focused on education for Columbus Business First. Presently, I am an assistant editor for Narrative, an online literary magazine, and I recently joined the editorial board of Trillium, a regional imprint of The Ohio State University Press.
I am also a bookseller! I am the founder and owner of Gramercy Books, an independently-minded, carefully curated neighborhood bookstore located in the heart of a first-ring suburb of Columbus called Bexley. Three years in the making, Gramercy Books opened its doors on December 12, 2016.
Most people in my city know me as a strong advocate of education, literacy and the arts because I’ve led a number of civic and community organizations and served on their boards over the past couple of decades, including Bexley Board of Education, Bexley Education Foundation, Capital University, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Kidsohio.org, The Ohio State University, and United Way of Central Ohio.
I founded a visiting author program a decade ago and led it for its first nine years before transitioning it this year, its tenth, to our local library. I’m proud of the fact that this yearlong community read has gained recognition in the Midwest as a premier literary program that attracts prominent writers at the height of their careers.
In the nineties, my experience as a trustee and, later, board chair of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra fed into much of the music that fills the pages of Tasa’s Song.
Along with classical music, I enjoy many kinds of music, and often attend concerts in both large and small venues to hear rock, blues, R&B, country and alternative. I am a learner at heart so my interests extend from books and music to film, theatre, restaurants, and travel. I’m in both a book club and a writing group. And I am a road cyclist, with nearly 2,000 miles under my belt (or saddle) each year.
For the past nine years, I’ve combined my love of cycling with a deep commitment to support cancer research by participating in a grass roots cycling event called Pelotonia. I completed five 100-mile rides, and have personally raised more than $140,000 since I began. I’m grateful to be able to give back and honor all the family and friends for whom I ride. All of us taking part in Pelotonia have been touched by cancer and I am no different.
I am most grateful to lead a very full life, nourished by an extraordinary family, and a family of friends, both near and far.