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"A treasure" -- Authors Talk About It/5-Star Review

"Spellbinding" -- Readers Favorite/5-Star Review, read HERE

"Unforgettable" -- Book Review Directory/5-Star Review, read HERE

AWARDS for "Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir

  1. GRAND PRIZE WINNER - Nonfiction: Authors Talk About it 2017 Book Contest
  2. FINALIST: Indie Excellence Book Awards 2017 (Memoir)
  3. FINALIST: Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2017 (Autobio and Memoir)
  4. FINALIST: Sarton Women’s Book Award (Memoir), 2018
  5. WINNER: Top Shelf Book Awards 2018 (Memoir/Career)
  6. FINALIST: Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2018 (Nonfiction)

AWARDS for Carol’s essays

  1. HONORABLE MENTION: Soundings Review First Publication Award 2014
  2. WINNER: New Millennium Writings 41st Literary Nonfiction Award, 2016 -- read the essay HERE
  3. HONORABLE MENTION: under the gum tree Fifth Anniversary Contest 2017 -- purchase Issue 22 HERE
  4. FINALIST: Solstice Literary Magazine’s Summer 2020 Contest -- read the essay HERE
  5. WINNER: Tucson Book Festival Nonfiction Award, 2021


  1. "Lessons in a Chitlin" excerpt from Nowhere Else I Want to Be, in bioStories (May 2015): read HERE, page 87
  2. "Prophetess" adapted from Nowhere Else I Want to Be, in Jenny Magazine (Spring 2015): read HERE
  3. "How to Build a Bonfire" in The Los Angeles Review (June 2017): read HERE
  4. "If Memory" in Lunch Ticket (June 2017): read HERE
  5. "Requiem for the Fall" in River Teeth, Issue 19.2 (May 2018): print only, order HERE
  6. "What She Doesn’t Say" in The Tishman Review (July 2018)
  7. "Deep Within, Far Beyond" in Chautauqua Journal (Spring 2020)
  8. "How to Move Your Life" in Aji Magazine (Spring 2021)
  9. "The Law of Simultaneous Contrast" in The Vassar Review, (Fall 2021)
  10. "Border/Between: A Symphony in Essays" from Bamboo Dart Press, purchase HERE.
  11. SEPTEMBER 22, 2022: "I’m Sorry Monica: MeToo, Monica and Me" Rivercliff Books/Pendust Radio
  12. FORTHCOMING IN DECEMBER 2022: "A Promise," flash nonfiction in Hippocampus Magazine.

Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir

is about ten of the seventeen years during which, as Founding Executive Director, I lived at Miriam’s House with women who were homeless and had AIDS.

I am a graduate of Goucher College’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction program, where my thesis was this memoir.

Excerpts have been published in print in Soundings Review (Honorable Mention - 2014 First Publication Contest), and online in Jenny Magazine (read story), while another was the Featured Essay in March 2015 bioStories (to read the story, click on my name, fourth down on right-hand column .)

A story about me, of course, but equally about the women, the book describes a life both richly rewarding and very difficult. It chronicles a time in the AIDS epidemic, from 1996 to 2005, when the advent of new medications and treatments began to change AIDS from a fatal illness to a chronic one. It does so from the point of view of those last to benefit from these advances: women who were poor and on Medicaid, reliant on emergency rooms and free clinics.

The book’s narrative is driven by differences in race, class, education, health, lifetime opportunity, and by stories of the women themselves. A shy and introverted person, I struggle with my dual role as leader and member of the community. I learn that my passion for social justice is not served just by building Miriam’s House, but is only made real by being there day by difficult day, in community with women who challenge me at the core of who I think I am.

The women are wonderful, funny, frustrating and, many of them, dying. Valeria channels a TV character called Sha-nay-nay and struts around the dining room tossing off Attitude with a cobra-whip of her neck. Crystal, blind and afraid of the dark and whom I had promised would not be alone when she dies, passes away alone in the hospital while I am taking a weekend off. Kimberly defies the odds by living with us for nine years despite her disease. Alyssa dies at our house waiting for the mother who would not come to her; the mother who put her on the street as a prostitute when she was only twelve.