Bio

Dave Bonta photo

photo by Andrea Selch, 8 May 2011

I’m a writer, editor, and web publisher from the Appalachian Mountains of central Pennsylvania. I aspire to be a good minor poet and a great reader. I’m the managing editor of qarrtsiluni, an online literary magazine, and I’ve been publishing my own material on the web since 2003. In 2010, Phoenicia Publishing brought out Odes to Tools, a small book of 25 poems that originally appeared at my literary blog Via Negativa. My latest Via Negativa-derived collections are Breakdown: Banjo Poems from Seven Kitchens Press, part of their Keystone Chapbook series; a self-published chapbook of photos and poetry, Twelve Simple Songs; and a collection of cartoons, Words on the Street, from Bauble Tree Books.

Some more of my poems are collected at Shadow Cabinet and Spoil, two self-published e-books, and I keep a daily journal of prose-micropoems at The Morning Porch. Other sites include Moving Poems, a daily compendium of video poetry from around the web, and my occasionally updated photoblog, Woodrat Photohaiku.

I live in Plummer’s Hollow, Pennsylvania, part of the Juniata drainage, Chesapeake Bay watershed. I’m on the board of the Juniata Valley Audubon Society, based in Altoona, PA., despite the fact that I am not a real birdwatcher.

Personal Stuff

I was born in 1966, but still have the basic mentality of a five-year-old. I live alone, though my parents are right across the road, so some people call me a hermit. But the reality is that the internet (I have slow high-speed access) keeps me connected with the world in all kinds of ways — I’m even in a long-distance relationship, thanks mostly to Skype. I don’t write about myself very often (and please don’t assume a poem in the first person is autobiographical), not because I have anything to hide, but because I don’t interest me very much. But when I do write about personal or family stuff, it gets filed under Memoir at Via Negativa.

Family on the Web

My mother, Marcia Bonta, is a naturalist-writer, the author of nine books and more than 300 magazine articles. My father, Bruce Bonta, curates Peaceful Societies, the best source for information about nonviolent societies on the web, with new articles appearing every week. My brother Mark is a geographer. (My other brother, Steve, is a linguist, but unfortunately does not have a website.)

Totems

North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) and Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister).

Publication credits

me with porcupine

When cornered, I clack my teeth in a threatening manner.

In addition to the aforementioned Odes to Tools and Breakdown: Banjo Poems, I have poems in two anthologies: The Book of Ystwyth: Six poets on the art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins and an anthology of blogger-poets called Brilliant Coroners. I have an essay in New Sun Rising: Stories from Japan. I’ve placed poems, videopoems and translations in Art Times, Awkword Paper Cut, Bamboo, Bird Watcher’s Digest, cur.ren.cy, Frogpond, Haiku Zasshi Zo, Pivot, Poetry for the Masses, Poets for Living Waters, Reimagining Place,Studies in Contemporary Satire, The Rolling Coulter, [Slippage], The Sun, The Sylvanian, West Branch, Whale Sound, Wind and Z Miscellaneous. A poem from Odes to Tools was reprinted in Verse Daily. My photos and essays have appeared in Cha, Galatea Resurrects, The Mobility Forum, Sawmill and Woodlot, tinywords, the New Hampshire Public Radio website, Cracked.com, the second edition of the college textbook Insect Behavior (two photos), the second edition of The Golden Eagle by Jeff Watson, and various other places I’ve lost track of. And finally, I’ve supplied the texts for some videopoems by the Belgian artist and filmmaker Swoon (AKA Mark Neys): Taking the Waters12 Simple Songs and five films based on my absurdist “Manual” series.