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 publisher of Moving Poems, a website dedicated to videopoetry and poetry film.
I’ve been publishing my own material on the web since 2003, with occasional forays into print: most recently, Failed State (self-published in 2021 before current events made its bleak haibun obsolete) and 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.
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.
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 hostility toward ambition. I got a BA in Comparative Literature at Penn State. I’ve lived in Osaka, Taipei, and London, but like a typical Pennsylvanian, I love where I grew up most of all.
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 Modern Haiku, West Branch, The Sun, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Frogpond, Verse Daily, Rattle online, Atticus Review, and a hodge-podge of other sites. My videopoems have been screened hither and yon, and my poems have been used by other video artists and filmmakers, which means that a lot of art-house film audiences have been subjected to my poems without necessarily even knowing what the hell they were listening to (or reading as text-on-screen), let alone giving a damn who wrote it, which suits me to a T.
Occasionally I get invited to conferences and stuff. Which ones? Look, I’m not an academic, so there’s absolutely no reason to keep track of these things. But whilst updating this page, I ran across a photo of me at the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, where I was on a panel and had to pretend to know something. Then hours of sitting in the dark and watching poetry films in between wandering around the former East Berlin. That was a sweet gig.
That made me remember another trip to Germany a couple years later, to help judge the Weimar poetry film award—another wonderful, expenses-paid trip. Then there was the one time I was on a panel at AWP, which was interesting but too packed with insecure, competitive young people to actually be fun. (The conference itself, that is. The panel was lovely.) The highlight was getting to meet and hang out with the late Susan Elbe, a great Chicago poet and one of the people I was proudest of having published at qarrtsiluni. And the last gig that stands out in memory was the ReelPoetry festival in Houston in January 2020—an absolute blast. What a great city.
If you absolutely must know more, drop me a line.