Hi there! I’m Marisa (rhymes with Lisa)—just your average bipolar/bisexual/bilingual lady. I was born in New York, the same year as the Nintendo console, Green Day, and Push Pops, which I enjoy to this day. I still live there (in a different house) writing fiction and nonfiction alongside my loving husband and our two small dogs that are cuter than your baby. But I do my best writing on ferry boats and train rides.
A former middle school teacher, I now work as a peer recovery specialist at a local nonprofit where I support individuals improving their mental health and wellness. My passion for mental health advocacy and past experiences with discrimination inspire me to speak openly about my disabilities. When I'm not out there saving the world, I'm usually tossing and turning in bed, donning my sleep apnea mouthpiece.
My idea of fun includes playing board games, kayaking, swimming, reading, dancing awkwardly and singing badly to loud music, or painting my next masterpiece. I value travel as a form of education and love learning languages, exploring new places, and meeting people.
J'ai appris le français à l'école pendant six ans, et j'ai utilisé Google Translate pour écrire cette phrase. Al menos recuerdo como hablar español.
I graduated with a bachelor’s in Spanish language and literature from Haverford College and a master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University. I've taken writing courses from many awesome people at Catapult and elsewhere.
I recently put those expensive college degrees to good use by starting a free newsletter called Of Mice & Mental Health.
If you’d like to request me as a speaker—I'm super talented—you can do so through The Stability Network, where I present about my own mental health struggles to empower others and inspire hope, or by contacting me directly. I've also spoken at events for AFSP and for NAMI, the largest mental health organization in the U.S., and have consulted for the Mount Sinai Suicide Research and Prevention Lab. Most recently, I performed at Ancram Opera House's Real People Real Stories in the Hudson Valley.