Riding the waters of internal culture clash, I grew up in a traditional working class Greek immigrant family in San Francisco during the gay liberation 70’s. I loved both the unchanging ritual and interdependence of Greek culture, and the American value for freedom of expression and individuality. The trouble came in how to put them together. I find rich stories in the beauty and opposition of both. The themes of cultural identity, family relationships, and longing frequently influence my work.
Balancing humor, gravitas, and delectable food metaphors, I bring these themes together in my novel entitled The Feasting Virgin, about a 38-year-old virgin named Xeni who falls for a free-spirited new mom during sumptuous Greek cooking lessons, and finds herself struggling to reconcile her religious beliefs with her emerging sexuality. My poetry manuscript entitled The Motherland, is a three generation biography of immigrant evolution, with text and original photographs exploring the effect of diaspora on family, language, and identity.
I also write first person essays and regularly blog for The Huffington Post. My posts have appeared in the Parents, Queer Voices, Impact, and Weddings sections. My work has been featured in the Advocate.com, The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, When Women Waken, and various anthologies. See the publications page for a selected list.
My love of words has led me to numerous professional roles in the book world. I have worked in the acquisition department of a publishing house. I taught Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. I worked in literary and artist management doing publicity, booking, and tour management for authors and artists such as Harriet Lerner, Susie Bright, and Holly Near. I was a book seller at Green Apple Books in San Francisco. I also worked for the Oakland Public Library, and ran an afterschool homework help program site, Partners for Achieving School Success. My other professional experience includes my years as Executive Director of a public agency helping seniors and people with disabilities live more empowered and independent lives.
I hold a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Concentration in Teaching Creative Writing, as well as a Master of Arts in English: Emphasis in Creative Writing, with a Concentration in Modern Greek Literature. My Bachelor’s degrees are in Women’s Studies and Creative Writing. I am a recipient of the Thanasis Maskaleris Scholarship through the Modern Greek Studies Department of San Francisco State University and am a writing grant recipient of the Serpent Source Foundation. I have appeared in the films Every Family Matters and Trappings of Transhood.
I live in California with my three inspiring and delightful children, and am happily partnered with my loving and supportive Butch, Amy Liam McCallum.