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“Pound of Flesh,” my creative nonfiction piece about the impoverishment of the life spirit, was published August 2011 in The Tampa Review.

This welcome news flash came while I was at the Associated Writing Programs conference in Denver standing in line to get a latte (which is, I assure you, my only vice) and playing with my iPhone (my other only vice).

“Pound of Flesh” was short-listed in 2009 for the Tom Howard Prose Prize.

The three linked vignettes in the piece, “Streets of Venice,” “Streets of Wall” and “Streets of Lexington,” explore the questions of risk, security and personal capital.

“Pound of Flesh” opens with a scene during the performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Royal Shakespeare Co. inStratford-Upon-Avon, England, which I saw during the brief residency of the Spalding University MFA in creative writing program.

But I wrote the piece after mentor Bob Finchmade me do it. He had tired of reading chapters from my memoir, “Straight to Heaven,” and told me to try something completely different. And so I did!

Read my blog about England, the “London Calling” series.

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