Kristen works as a volunteer to coordinate Veterans Town Hall events in Burlington, Vermont. Inspired by author Sebastian Junger, these events aim to establish a greater understanding between local veterans and the community at large. Veterans are invited to share what their service means to them through a story, summary of service, message, letter home, excerpt from a war journal, or even the story behind a photograph. Non-veterans are invited to attend, to listen, and to learn. (Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in setting up a similar event in your hometown.)
The importance of conversation, and face-to-face communication in general, has been an area of interest for Kristen ever since she visited Ireland, discovered that folks there are not only willing but warm in their conversations with strangers, and contrasted this practice with what she was used to back home. Her interest in conversation and its influence on personal and cultural health has grown as social media and smartphone usage increases.
Pen to Paper
Kristen’s work has been published by her local alternative weekly, a national trade magazine, and travel and arts commentaries online. While she has, as of late, been focusing on events coordination, she still periodically updates Shaken & Steeped, participates in Postcrossing, and is a card-carrying member of the Letter Writers Alliance.
Kristen began freelancing in 2004 when the alternative periodical Seven Days sought her out as a theatre critic. With a self-designed major in Character Studies – the study of character development in different forms of storytelling, with a background in psychology – from Cornell University, Kristen has a unique view of the literary, online, and performing arts; she has also worked professionally backstage, and has written for the trade magazine Stage Directions.
In 2007, Kristen entered into travel writing with a series of reviews of Irish accommodations written during her on-foot trek along the west coast of Counties Clare and Kerry. She later revisited her roots by becoming a contributor to the arts and culture commentary site Broad Street Review.
Virtual Goodbyes (Cultural Commentary)
Pennsic’s Medieval Make-Believe (Travel Writing)
Don’t Tax My Syntax (Political Commentary)
History Lessons (Theatre Review)