I grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, surrounded by a big family and a close-knit community. During this time, tremendous sociopolitical and economic changes happened in the city. My research and writing have been shaped by these experiences. Through memoir, personal essays, and literary journalism I create intimate portraits of individuals and families, while situating their struggles in the broader context of race and poverty in America. My work has led me to examine how people make choices—how to raise their children, make a living, and maintain dignity—within the constraints of oppressive systems. As a teacher and writer, I am drawn to artists who use their work to point to what is marginal and hidden as an act of resistance.