I live in Philadelphia, where I work as an annotator at a linguistics research lab and as a freelance writer and editor. My last name is German and I pronounce it hay-glee.
I got my B.A. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, and I'm still very interested in the thing some people think makes us human. (Language, that is. I happen to think that treating other living creatures with kindness is what makes us human, but that rules out some people, doesn't it? [I have to amend this because I now realize that humans are not the only animals capable of empathy. What is it that makes us human, then? Art, I guess. WAIT MAYBE IT'S JOKES! Holy crap I can't decide, this might be a pointless question.])
I have been publishing my writing in one form or another since I was a teenager, and over the years the subjects that have interested me the most include: clothing and identity, gender expression, obsolete and castoff objects, language usage and change, the many interpretations and uses of feminism, the many interpretations and uses of "punk," the pearls of wisdom to be found within pop culture artifacts, material culture, graffiti, cities, zines, and books.
My essays and articles have been published in print and online magazines—including the Utne Reader, Bitch Media, Adbusters, The Comics Journal, Philadelphia Magazine, and Library Journal—and a number of newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune. For several years I worked as a writer and contributing editor for the Philadelphia Weekly, and in 2006 a series of essays I wrote for the paper won an award for column writing from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. I was a regular contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2005 to 2016, and for a year I wrote a column for the Inquirer's Sunday magazine called DigitaLit, for which I looked at the places where traditional storytelling and new technologies intersect. I write poetry sometimes too, and in 2013 my poem "Kaiho (A Definition)" was published as a Poems for All book.
I have read or lectured at Ladyfest Philly, the RADAR reading series in San Francisco, and the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1; on the public radio station WXPN; and in a whole lotta little DIY venues. I have also developed a zine workshop that I've presented at Bryn Mawr College, the Philadelphia Book Festival, the Kelly Writers House, and several branches of the Philly Free Library. In 2010 I was the zine writer in residence at the Anchor Archive in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I worked on writing that would become my first book. That book, a memoir called White Elephants, was published in 2012. My second one, a collection of essays about language called Slip of the Tongue, came out in 2014. Cats I've Known, an illustrated collection of stories about cats, will be published by Microcosm in October 2017.
I really love cats.