Essay Coach

Amanda received an AB in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, and an MPhil from Cambridge University, where she was awarded a Gates Scholarship to study European Literature and Culture. She earned her doctorate in literature and philosophy from the Rhetoric department at the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on the role of the body and senses in the prose and drama of Samuel Beckett. In graduate school and beyond, she developed her love of teaching, and has worked individually with students at varying levels—high school and university as well as adults—on transforming a hint of an idea (or a merely passable work of prose) into a vivid, arresting essay, an argumentative tour de force. Her approach to teaching the craft of writing draws on contemporary stylists of the written word as well as on the ancients, for whom speaking and writing well could be a matter of life or death (Cicero's orations before the Roman senate more than once saved his life). In addition to the written word, Amanda's great love is travel, and she has taught, lived, written and researched in the US, England, France and most recently Spain, where she spent a year teaching literature as a Berkeley postdoctoral fellow in the humanities. She has been a visiting scholar in the department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia and is working on her first novel. She is currently studying at the Iowa Writers' Workshop while teaching courses in creative writing and the interpretation of literature at the University of Iowa.

University experience

Columbia University
Visiting Scholar
University of Iowa


Princeton University
Cambridge University
University of California, Berkeley