In July 2008, Kate and her partner of 14 years--the poet, artist and teacher Annie Tobin--took advantage of California's new law and legally married on a boat off the coast of Santa Cruz. Over the years, they have both worked politically and personally to make public schools better places for queer teachers and students. A former high school teacher and teacher of English in Japan, Kate now teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State University. She received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Washington, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Jose State.
Kate is currently working on a historical novel that focuses on the lives of three bisexual women in the first half of the 20th century. She is also working on a memoir about caregiving, which focuses on the long illness and death of her father, followed almost immediately by her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis. She blogs at beingandwriting.blogspot.com.
The seminal book in Kate's life is Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, which she read at ages 10, 11 and 12. When she revisited Harriet as an adult, she discovered that Louise Fitzhugh--who died in 1974--was a lesbian who had written a book about two girls falling in love that she was unable to publish in her day. The manuscript is now lost.
Some of Kate's other favorite writers include Marilyn Hacker, May Sarton, Ellen Bass, Toni Morrison, Isabelle Allende, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde.
Read some of Kate's work here:
- The Color of Change
- Spouses for Life
- The Waiting is the Hardest Part: A Meditation on Breasts and Mortality
- Bathtubbing It: The Writing Process of a Teacher-Writer-Woman