About

  • Telaina Morse Eriksen
    Was born and raised in rural Michigan, the youngest of seven children and the daughter of a factory worker. Their house (formerly a one-room schoolhouse) was surrounded by corn or soybeans, depending on the year. She is pretty certain she learned more from reading and being in 4-H than she learned in the first 13 years of her formal schooling. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1990 with a degree in journalism and has worked as a waitress, a library assistant, a journalist, doing marketing and public relations for educational software companies, a freelance writer, and as a full-time mom. In 2009, she graduated from Antioch University Los Angeles with her MFA in creative writing and has worked as a fixed-term assistant professor in the Department of English at Michigan State University since 2011. Her poems and essays have appeared in ARS Medica, The Manifest-Station, poemmemoirstory, The Truth About the Fact, The Fem, RoleReboot, The Good Men Project and many others. Her first book-length work, Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child, was published by Mango Publishing in 2017. Telaina is also working on a novel, The Technology of a Broken Heart, and a collection of poems, Knocking on the Roman Walls Around the Ruins of My Heart. She has been married to her college sweetheart for over 24 years, and they have two children, Casandra, 20, who attends Western Michigan University, and Matthew, 16, a high school junior. The Eriksens have a dog, Sprite, a 13-year-old Shetland Sheep Dog. When not teaching, writing, cooking, cleaning, or arranging some sort of carpool for her teen, Telaina enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on her son’s water polo team, and spending time at Lake Michigan, hiking and swimming.

Publications

Creative Nonfiction (cont.)

”When Will the World Love My Gay Daughter As Much As I Do?” Feminism 2.0 May 6, 2013

“New Zealand Reds” Recovering the Self  November 2012, V.4, No. 4 ISSN 1947-2773

“Love Me Forever, But Not Like That” Recovering the Self  April 2012, V.4, No. 2


“Leonore is the Only Opera Beethoven Every Wrote” Marco Polo Arts Magazine September 2011

 

"Dear Sprite" Recovering the Self  April 2011, Vol. III, No. 2 p.76 ISSN 1947-2773

“Lost and Found” The Truth About the Fact Volume VI, No. 1, Spring 2011, p. 155 ISBN 09778470-5-5

"Incurring” Two Hawks Quarterly: A Literary Uprising February 12, 2008

 

“Hope’s Port of Call” Heartlands: A Magazine of Midwest Life & Art Volume 5, Fall 2007, p. 54  ISBN 978-1-933964-13-3

Poetry

“Brag 2016” The Fem March 10, 2016

“Counter Clockwise” The Good Men Project  February 1, 2016 

“Fomorian” The Good Men Project November 27, 2015 

“Channeling Sabina” ARS Medica Vol 10, No 1 2014 

“Mother is a Verb” Poetry Anthology Red Paint Hill Publishing May 2014 ISBN-13:978-0-9915538-2-2

“bitter, sweet, tart” The Good Men Project April 9, 2014 

“Quantum Chromodynamics” Under the Microscope April 2012

“Boundary Violation” Hospital Drive Winter/Spring 2012

“Frisky” The Citron Review September 2, 2009

“I Forgot” Journal of Outsider Poetry: Psychological Poems (Road Bump Publishing), issue number one, 2009, p.83 ISBN 978-0-615-32894-2

Analysis

“Madness, Rack and Honey” Annotation Nation May 16, 2013

“The Tortilla Curtain” Annotation Nation May 10, 2012

“The Brothers Karamazov” Annotation Nation March 1, 2011

 

Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child

  • Mango Media, 2017

    "In seventh grade, my now 20-year-old daughter came to my husband and I and said that she, “might like girls.” Unlike made-for-television movies, I hadn’t known or secretly suspected that she was gay. Even though I have many family and friends who are gay, including my sister who identifies as lesbian and my niece who identifies as bisexual, I still was taken by surprise and had immediate concerns and questions about parenting a child who was “different.” This book is a combination of our story, other parents’ stories and research as well as anecdotal evidence showing the strong need for familial support for LGBTQ children to be successful and emotionally healthy in our still very biased world." —Telaina Eriksen

  • "This book was enjoyable, informative, and easy to consume. I learned a lot even as an experienced therapist and advocate, and I very much look forward to using it with my clients and friends. It truly reminds me why parenting is the most difficult and insomnia-inducing job in the world, but also why it could be the most deeply rewarding and ultimately the most beneficial for society: it’s about teaching people how to love." -Dr. Mimi Hoang

    "I’ve always said that if Telaina Eriksen wrote a parenting book, I would happily buy it. In Unconditional, Eriksen provides a pragmatic, empathetic guide for parents raising a child who identifies as LGBTQ. From coming out narratives to safe sex to navigating the public sphere, the book covers significant ground. Backed by research and accompanied by personal narratives, Unconditional offers a big-hearted, much-needed approach." --Robin Silbergleid, author of The Baby Book and Texas Girl

Readings/Events

Book Launch and Reading

April 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m.  Everybody Reads 2019 E Michigan Ave Lansing, MI 48912

Reading and Q&A

April 27, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Literati Bookstore 124 E. Washington St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Booth at Michigan Pride

June 17, 2017 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Old Town East Grand River and Turner Lansing MI 48906

Reading and Q&A

July 12, 2017 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Hosted by: Bookbug: An Independent Bookstore for All Ages and OutFront Kalamazoo 340 South Rose Street Kalamazoo MI 49007

Book Signing

September 30, 2017 2 to 4 p.m. Horizon Books 243 E. Front Street Traverse City, MI 49684

Local Authors Night, Q&A and signing

November 2, 2017 7:00 p.m. Schuler Books 2660 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Blog

Boundaries and Emotional Work in Families

It’s been a busy summer and my extended family, as well as my nuclear family, have had a lot going on. Two of my sisters, my niece, and my great-nephew have moved to Michigan. It’s really fun having more family in the state, but it was also really stressful getting everyone here and settled. Because […]

MI Pride

Yesterday, I attended Michigan Pride for the first time as a vendor. Since I didn’t know how sales tax and all that worked for an individual, I approached Everybody Reads and asked if I could sell books and other Pride merchandise through them at my table. They agreed (they are so great to work with). […]

Grace

    I’ve received such support in the last few months since Unconditional has come out! It seems like in the really good times (and in the really bad times) we treasure even more our family and friends and the support and love they offer us. I feel like such a lucky person to be […]

CONTACT