After publishing two collections of poetry with an extremely small press in my twenties, I moved to New York in 1998 to pursue a career in fiction writing, though never completely abandoning my interests in autobiographical investigation, lyricism, experimentation, and class. I am interested in what it means to knowingly engage with and embrace influence; fictional forms that hold space for pleasure and complexity, troubling and teasing easy realism, making meaning in new or counter logics, those move me most. It's this I work hard at in fiction. In teaching I focus on an open exchange and sharing of ideas, a critical empowering through prompting self-questioning and examining what place writing might really hold in one's life, an emphasis on work habits, and constructive critiques that do not rely on oft repeated formulas but seek to accept and explore each students' work on their own terms towards their own goals. To this end, I believe in such things as mutual respect and mutual exploration, a rigorous attention to detail and consideration of formal implications: I want students to begin to think about not just word choice but why books are received the way they are.
In 2000, I published my first novel, Outline of My Lover, with the then budding Soft Skull Press, while completing my MFA in fiction. This novel was subsequently published by Picador UK, adapted by the Ballet Frankfurt for their multimedia production Kammer/Kammer, and named an International Book of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement. I was nominated for the American Library Association's GLBT Book Award and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and I drove myself across the United States in support of this book, reading far and wide. In 2005, I published a novel of biographical fiction, Branwell: A Novel of the Bronte Brother (Soft Skull), finalist for a Ferro-Grumely Award, and a book of autobiographically linked stories, They Change the Subject (University of Wisconsin), named one of top ten books of the year in the San Francisco Bay Times and including "An Escort," finalist for a Pushcart Prize. In 2008, I published a collection of poetry, In the Time of Assignments (Soft Skull), and a cross-genre work, Your Body Figured (Nightboat Books). My most recent book is a novel, Once You Go Back (Seven Stories).
My work has been included in the anthologies Bend, Don't Shatter: Poets on the Beginning of Desire, Slam, Dangerous Families: Queer Writing On Surviving, Best Gay Erotica (2000, 2002, 2003, Best of the Best Gay Erotica), Where the Boys Are: Urban Gay Erotica, Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative, and New Writing 11. I have published poetry and prose in Lit, The Dublin Review, The Literary Review, Small Spiral Notebook, Fence, Bombay Gin, Tarpaulin Sky and Nerve.com. Additionally I am a co-author of the haiku year and "Accurate Key," a boxed and letter-pressed broadside project including Alice Notley, Robert Creeley, and Eileen Myles, among others.
When She Does What She Does: Intertextual Desire and Influence in Kathy Acker's Narratives, my doctorate work was awarded the Irving Howe Prize for Best Dissertation Involving Politics and Literature.