Photo Courtesy  W endy Whitesell

Photo Courtesy Wendy Whitesell


I'm a writer, mostly of literary nonfiction. My essays and other work have been published through Cutbank, The Rumpus, and elsewhere, named Notable Selection by Best American Essays, and awarded a Pushcart Prize and the Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize. I am Editor and co-photographer of the art book, Seeking Diviners. I have interviewed a wide array of individuals, including: 30+ Sinatra impersonators, Gustavo Arellano of ¡Ask a Mexican!, and Siri Hustvedt. My writing has been supported by fellowships from both the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

My work is greatly influenced by my upbringing in a rural, Midwest town. I have spent countless hours studying gelatin and am in the process of writing a book of essays that investigate America through the culinary lens of Jell-O. Part memoir, part history of this instant-food (patented by inventor and New Yorker, Peter Cooper), this work presents an ambrosia salad of dream-like impressions and research.

I graduated from the University of Iowa, where I studied English/writing and vocal performance. I then received an MFA in creative writing/nonfiction from the New School in NYC. Alongside forays in hand modeling, I have worked for many years in arts development and have also taught literature and writing to teenagers and undergraduates. I now live in Jersey City with my husband, Peter, and a houseplant we’re trying not to kill. 

Curriculum Vitae