Bio

tintype portrait by Alastair Cook
tintype portrait by Alastair Cook (click to enlarge)

I’m a writer, editor, and web publisher from the Appalachian mountains of central Pennsylvania. Born the same year as the Miranda warning and the term “found poem” (1966), I’ve been exercising my rights to remain silent and to call anything a poem ever since. I aspire to be a good minor poet and a great reader. These days I guess I’m most widely known as the guy behind Moving Poems, a compendium of poetry videos from around the web.

I’ve been publishing my own material on the web since 2003, with occasional forays into print: most recently, Ice Mountain (Phoenicia Publishing, 2017). Phoenicia also brought out Odes to Tools, a small book of 25 poems that originally appeared at my literary blog Via Negativa. Other Via Negativa-derived collections include 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.

I keep a daily journal of prose-micropoems at The Morning Porch, and since January 1, 2013, I’ve been posting daily erasure poems based on the 17th-century Diary of Samuel Pepys to Via Negativa.

From 2006 to 2013, together with Beth Adams I published qarrtsiluni, an online literary magazine that pioneered the use of blog software and MP3 audio files to deliver themed issues in daily, multimedia increments.

I live in Plummer’s Hollow, Pennsylvania, part of the Juniata drainage, Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Personal Stuff

me as Ampelmann in Berlin
in Berlin

I was born south of the Mason-Dixon line but grew up in rural central Pennsylvania. I had my first published poem at the age of 7 (thank you, Christian Science Monitor children’s page), and was mentored in poetry by Jack McManis from the age of 12 on. Reading the Daoist classics in my late teens ruined me for life, confirming me in my natural laziness and my hostility toward all forms of ambition.

I’m married to Rachel Rawlins, who is British, so I spend half my time in central Pennsylvania and half in London.

Publication credits

me with porcupine
a free and frank exchange of views

In addition to the aforementioned books, I have poems in several anthologies, including The Book of Ystwyth: Six poets on the art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins and an anthology of blogger-poets called Brilliant Coroners. Despite the fact that I rarely send anything out, my poems have managed to find their way into a variety of publications, including West Branch, The Sun, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Frogpond, tinywords, Verse Daily, and Broadsided Press. My videopoems have been screened at the International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, the Ashland Literary Arts Festival in Oregon, Festival Internacional de Videopoesía – VideoBardo in Buenos Aires, and several places in the U.K.: Leicester’s Cube Gallery, the Newlyn International Film Festival, the Filmpoem Festival in Lewes, and the 2017 MIX Conference at Bath-Spa University. And my poems have been used by other video artists and filmmakers, including Marie Craven and Marc Neys.