Donna is the author of Sympathetic People (Iowa Finalist Award Winner and 2015 IndieBook Awards Finalist) and Sometimes You Sense the Difference. An earlier version of her forthcoming novel The Silver Baron’s Wife won the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her writing has earned three Pushcart nominations. She has received a Bread Loaf Scholarship, Johns Hopkins University MFA Fellowship, Allen E. Ginsberg Poetry Prize, grants from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and Poetry Society of Virginia, a Scholarship from the Summer Literary Seminars, and more.
Donna’s stories and poems have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Confrontation, Prairie Schooner, New York Quarterly, Washingtonian, New Ohio Review, Ascent, Puerto del Sol, and many other journals as well as in the anthologies I’ve Always Meant to Tell You (Pocket Books), To Fathers: What I’ve Never Said (featured in O Magazine), Men and Women: Together and Alone from Spirit That Moves Us Press.
Before founding Tiferet Journal, Donna was a founding Poetry Editor of Bellevue Literary Review.
The Fellowship she received from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts led to a highlight in her writing career: seeing the story she had submitted with her Fellowship application performed by Tony-award winning actress Maryann Plunkett at the Playwrights Theatre in Madison, NJ.
For many years, Donna also worked as a freelance direct mail copywriter, working primarily for environmental groups and membership organizations like World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Smithsonian, and more. During those years, she published two nonfiction books on copywriting with McGraw-Hill and Thomson Publishing Group.
At age 40, she took a sabbatical to get her MFA in Fiction from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she studied with John Barth, Steve Dixon, and Peter Sacks. Her thesis became a collection of stories that was a Finalist in the Iowa Fiction Awards judged by Marilynne Robinson.