UGLY MEtest shot 1

an exploration of beauty, worth and the power of the selfie

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, where does self-worth reside? 

UGLY ME was a multi-media installation that explored the interplay between appearance and self-worth through collage, fashion photography, distorted selfies and spoken prose. Readings of twelve original works played as a backdrop to a series of comical personal images and large-scale typographic collage. Visitors were encouraged to listen, linger and contribute their own selfies to the investigation.

Click here to listen to a podcast interview about the project.
Click on the image below to order a copy of the UGLY ME poems:


This project was supported in part by an award from 4Culture.




Photo by Nick Spang

Photo by Nick Spang

A Novel Performance was a month-long installation centered around National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which takes place each November. Over 30 days, writers attempt to compose a minimum of 50,000 words—essentially, the first draft of a novel.

My project took this challenge a step further by unveiling the writing process within a public forum. Merging literary art and performance installation, A Novel Performance explored several questions: how do writers approach the creation of book-length works? What artistic and practical challenges do writers wrestle with as their work develops? What happens to the creative process under an acutely compressed schedule? What is the role of failure in literary art, and how do writers incorporate and acknowledge its presence in their work without giving up?

As a novelist-in-residence during the month of November 2014 at Seattle Central Library, I wrote the first draft of a novel titled The Year of the Tiger and had the pleasure of daily interactions with library visitors and staff. At the conclusion of the month, I had written 70,355 words, thus winning the NaNoWriMo Challenge, one positive outcome amongst many during my installation.

Read an account of the experience by Paul Constant in The Stranger‘s SLOG or listen to Rachel Belle’s podcast on KIRO FM. You can also read the blog post I wrote for 4Culture, which explains the underpinnings of the installation.

This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture.