About Kristin Bair O’Keeffe
I’m Kristin Bair O’Keeffe. I write. I teach writing. I talk to people about writing. I write some more.
My debut novel Thirsty was published by Swallow Press in 2009, and my essays and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Hypertext, Bluestem, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Gettysburg Review, The Baltimore Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Oriental Outlook Weekly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, San Diego Family Magazine, and other publications. I was also featured in THRIVE: 34 Women, 18 Countries, 1 Goal, a collection of memoirs that profiles the lives of women who “moved to Shanghai and redefined success for themselves.”
While getting my M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago in the mid-1990s, I started teaching fiction and creative nonfiction writing workshops. By the end of the very first class I ever taught, I knew I loved to teach, and throughout the past seventeen years, I’ve helped hundreds of students become better writers, gain confidence in their process and their work, and learn to navigate the publishing world.
In addition to running private workshops, I’ve taught writing and literature at Montserrat College of Art, Endicott College, Columbia College Chicago, Boston College, and the University of New Hampshire. I’ve been lucky enough to teach all kinds of folks: young kids, troubled teens, much-wiser-than-me older folks, grad students, executives, undergrads, visual artists, expats, homeless moms, and more.
From 2006 through 2010, I lived in Shanghai, China, where I explored, wrote, taught expat writers from all around the globe, curated an incredible reading series called “Out Loud! The Shanghai Writers Literary Salon,” gave presentations and moderated author talks at the annual Shanghai International Literary Festival, and learned a heck of a lot about myself, as well as this wonderfully complex world we live in.
On top of all that, I’m also a mom, wife, daughter, sister, traveler, blogger, social media enthusiast, and cultural spelunker. In late 2010, after nearly five years as an expat in China, I repatriated to the United States and am making a new home in Massachusetts with my husband and daughter.
About the Blog
Why Writerhead? The truth is, I’m in awe of the magic that goes on in our writerly heads when we’re caught up in those beautiful (sometimes excruciating) sh, sh, sh, ssssssshhhhhh, I’ve got to get this down moments. Those moments when words are bubbling, popping, zinging, and swinging. The ones when the “real” world disappears behind a gauzy cloud (insert sucking sound here…sssshhhhpppttt) and the imaginative world takes on firmer lines and brighter hues.
Some writers call it the flow or the zone or the groove. Some call it nirvana or (in darker moments) hell. Others refer to it as writerland. I call it writerhead.
About Kristin’s Other Blogs
As my life grows and changes, my blogs grow and change. To find out more, visit my past blogs:
My Beautiful, Far-Flung Life (2009-January 2011)
Shanghai Adventures of a Trailing Spouse (2006-2009)