I view the mentoring relationship as a dialogue rather than a traditional, hierarchal teaching experience. I often learn as much from my students as they do from me. Because I see non-fiction as the great Renaissance-person's field - it incorporates all fields of knowledge, spans everything from memoir to science writing to biography, and uses craft techniques available to writers across genres - I encourage my students to experiment. If they've been writing memoir, I might ask them to look at their subject matter as if they're writing a travel piece or a personal profile. And I encourage them to think in a global sense when it comes to their writing; we create genres in order to tidy the teaching experience, but the imagination is far less tidy. Inspiration may begin as poetry and wind up as narrative non-fiction, which is why I encourage students to experiment, read widely across genres, and always view literary expression as a sliding scale.
As I'm also a visual artist, I have a special interest in graphic novels/memoirs and word-and-image pairings (my MA is in Word and Image Studies). I also speak Welsh and often write about Wales and Welsh literature, and have a background in travel writing. I direct the Dylan Thomas International Summer School in Creative Writing at The University of Wales Trinity St David, in Lampeter, Wales. Lesley MFA students have been attending for credit each year since the program began in 2014, and I can't recommend the experience too highly!