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Future Fordmaker of America, or, about me

“In Jainism,” I am told, “a Tirthankara (‘Fordmaker’) (also…a Jina) is a human who achieves enlightenment (perfect knowledge), through asceticism. A Tirthankar becomes a Jina (after totally conquering anger, pride, deceit, desire, etc.). A Tirthankar is the founder of a ‘Tirth,’ a Jain community which acts as a ‘ford’ across the ‘river of human misery.'”

I am told this by Wikipedia, which I trust in all matters, save the ones where the evildoers get hold of the Truth and ransack it. I would tell you who they are and what they think, but I’m a reporter. I can’t have bias about these kinds of things.

I’ve written for The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Glamour Magazine, Harvard Magazine, The Walrus and some other little places you probably don’t know. I’ve also gloried in being an editorial assistant at Harper’s Magazine. My work is also in this year’s Best American Science Writing. I write and produce multimedia work for whoever pays, and sometimes for those who don’t. You can find evidence of my willingness to work hard for little cash here.

I helped edit a handy resource for writers, “Telling True Stories” (if the only way you’ll buy it is to click away to Amazon now, I understand, but if you have any surplus of compassionate consumerism in you at the moment, pledge to go to your local independent bookstore). I’ve also done trainings in narrative journalism in New England and Africa. I spent a few years helping to put on the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation.

I am grateful to the support of three institutions that allowed me to learn what I wanted and needed to know, in the classroom and in the field — Boston University, the Harry S Truman Foundation and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation — and to the new home I’ve found at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. And I’m grateful to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for a grant to work in Liberia.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 18, 2008 1:40 pm

    Your writing and photos are great. I found your name on the media list for the Culture Project in NY (we worked together on Tings Dey Happen).

    I work with Inter Press Service as you’ll see if you visit the website. I also distribute news from and about Africa to community, minority and grassroots newspapers in the U.S. If there’s a story you have that you’d like distributed, please let me know.

    All the best,

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