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
The Tribal Knot


A multi-generational memoir based on hundreds of letters and documents spanning more than a century…

Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively

Word Painting:
A Guide to Writing More Descriptively

A self-guided text for poets and prose writers alike, filled with examples and exercises to strengthen imagery, characterization, setting, plot, and narration through description.
Deep Light: New and Selected Poems

Deep Light:
New and Selected Poems

Eighty-seven poems, arranged to create an alternating pattern of shadow and light to suggest “memoir held to the candle of insight,” as one reviewer wrote.
Write Your Heart Out

Write Your Heart Out

A guide for the journey: making time to write, discovering your true subjects, writing with honesty and authority, moving from private to public writing.

Naked as Eve

Naked as Eve

Portraits of marriage, its joys and ruptures; a “Regrets Only” party where our pasts gather; Passion Week 1966; ordinary angels.

One Word Deep: Lectures and Readings

One Word Deep: Lectures and Readings

Informal lectures about the writing process, especially poem-making, combined with brief, illustrative readings.

The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings

The Riddle Song
and Other Rememberings

An ensemble of memoir essays that explore intimate familial relationships, especially the bonds of sisters, daughters, mothers and “other mothers,” those childless aunts and mentors who shape our lives.
Mrs. Houdini

Mrs. Houdini

Women speak their stories through poems: the seven wives of Zeus, a clay-eater, the Old Testament Leah, a medieval woman accused of witchcraft, a suicidal mother, Peter Pan's Wendy, and the poet herself.
Mother Tongue

Mother Tongue

Rebecca’s first book of poems ranges far and wide: fairy tales and nightmare images, Marvin Gaye, Marine Corps brats and blind students and “full service” gas station attendants.