I’m a creative nonfiction writer and a wine, food, and travel journalist focusing primarily on burgeoning wine regions. My recent writing projects can be found here. My husband and I founded and edit Parks and Points, a website dedicated to sharing writing about public lands, in 2016.
I teach writing at Purchase College (State University of New York at Purchase), and serve on the board of the SUNY Council on Writing. At Purchase, I launched and edit Expose, an undergraduate journal of expository writing, and SUNY Writes!, a “blogzine” for writing educators produced in collaboration with the SUNY Council on Writing.
I’m terribly behind in updating the blog, but am so thrilled with how this story turned out that I want to go ahead and post it. I’ll update the site to share a few new features that have posted since last November soon. (They are all on the Travel Journalism page.) This story has a straightforward, informative structure and was very fun to research and write. I learned so much! Olives are drupes, pitted fruits like cherries and plums, but with much less sugar. I also learned why EVOO is so healthy for us, and how to select an oil based on things like harvest date, acidity level, certification and more. You can check it out here:
For this piece I chatted with winemakers and industry pros from the High Plains to the Hill Country to get a sense of the environmental and infrastructural challenges growers contend with, as well as the tremendous creativity and talent that drives winemaking in Texas.
It was a treat to revisit Durham, North Carolina for this piece for StyleBlueprint—Durham was my first home after college, for two years. The town continues to distinguish itself as a top-tier foodie destination, and in new hotels, shopping districts, revitalization projects and protected historical sites that value and preserve local architecture and history.
I loved working on this piece, and talking with so many creative and passionate winemakers and industry professionals in Fredericksburg, Texas. Growing conditions pose a unique challenge, as the growing season is short due to high heat and late autumn freezes. Winemakers in Texas Hill Country are finding the varietals that will thrive by experimenting with grape cloning, growing rare Portuguese varietals, and crafting single-varietal Italian and Rhône wines.
Hot Springs is a unique national park with a great story. After the Hunter-Dunbar expedition documented the springs in 1803, a new industry of wellness began in central Arkansas. Hot Springs was also the first federally protected natural resource, predating Yellowstone! Check out the article to learn more about its cultural, social, and geologic history!
I had so much fun reporting on salinity, a tasting note that is prominent in higher-acid wines and made from grapes grown in coastal regions, for Wine Enthusiast. You can read more on the characteristics of saline-expressive wines, as well as about suggested pairings, here:
My husband Derek and I are thrilled to announce the publication of our first book, Wayfinding. Published by the venerable Finishing Line Press,Wayfinding is a collection of poems inspired by parks and public lands. More than 50 poets share moments of transformation and wonder alongside photography and design by Derek and Nicholas Wright, and short essays by Amy Beth and Derek Wright. This is a striking color print book of poetry and the perfect gift for outdoors enthusiasts and readers alike who enjoy the intersection of parks and poetry.
Praise for Wayfinding
Becky Lomax, author of Moon Guides’ Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 62 Parks, writes:
“When visiting national parks, we mostly rely on our visual senses to record the memory. But the poetry in Wayfinding touches other senses, wrapping the reader in bird chirps, campfire smells, and cool earthen textures. In doing so, the poems lure us into the interior journeys that shape our emotional connections to the parks.
The poetry, written by mostly published and award-winning poets, walks paths through dank cedar forests and red-walled canyons, below upthrusts of granite and through the soggy wetlands of the mind, reminding us that our park experiences are all different, yet all part of what the wild offers. The words focus our attention on both the inward and outward journey on public lands. They nudge us to experience the parks more fully–to slow down to let all of our senses engage with often-missed wonders.”
Check out Becky’s newest Moon Guide, to Glacier National Park, here.
About the Advance Sale Period…
As you may know, a book’s advance sales determine its future, including its press run and possibilities for wider distribution. If you are considering purchasing Wayfinding for yourself or as a gift, we encourage you to do it now, in April, while our pre-sale period is active. If the book seems like a good fit for a friend or family member, we hope you will let them know.
We appreciate your help in spreading the word about this collection! We are proud of the work within, and so grateful to the poets who have shared their writing with us.
I loved working on this piece for Wine Enthusiast. Especially as the toughest period of the pandemic seems to be subsiding, it was amazing to revisit my time in Lubbock and recall the vast, arid, agrarian landscape and the extraordinary wine.
In July of 2019 Healthline kindly published a short essay I wrote about how yoga, travel, long solitary walks, and reevaluating my thinking were all integral to my building a new relationship with my body post-IVF. I didn’t promote the piece very much at the time, as something about it made me feel very self-conscious. But to this day, I receive email about it, and often unexpectedly. I’ve heard from many women that reading it made them feel less alone; hearing from them has made me feel less alone as well. So, I’m sharing it here. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/my-body-after-ivf#1
It was such a pleasure to chat with Ellen O’Connell Whittet about her debut memoir, What You Become in Flight. A former dancer, Whittet grapples with leaving her ballet career behind after a serious injury, and examines the compromises that ballet necessitated, exploring ultimately how ballet was a training ground for much of womanhood. Our discussion focused on the intersection of dance and writing, or how being immersed in two creative disciplines reveals some of the essential themes recurrent within one’s work, one creative process driving the other forward.