One of my earliest memories is of my mother telling me that poems are like music changed into words. I count myself very lucky to have lifelong relationships with both poetry and music.
I live with my wife and cats in the town of Rollingstone, among the river bluffs of southeastern Minnesota. My chapbook Empty-handed won the 2013 Emergence Chapbook Prize from Red Dragonfly Press (Northfield MN). Many of my poems have appeared in literary journals, including North American Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Great River Review, Water-Stone Review, and The Teacher’s Voice. I have been a Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for several national poetry prizes.
Over the years, I’ve loved reading my poems and presenting writing workshop sessions to young writers, grades 3 through 12. In 2015, I collaborated with fellow writers Ken McCullough and Marcia Ratliff to lead the Teen Voices Project, a series of writing workshops for Winona teen poets, culminating in a group reading and a print collection of their work (Soundings, Book Shelf Editions).
I am also a veteran roots musician, and have performed at coffeehouses, Farmer’s Markets, taverns, pizza farms, festivals, and private events throughout the Driftless Zone. My main instrument is a Gibson acoustic guitar, played finger-style, along with harmonica, Irish whistle, and various kinds of low-tech percussion, such as washboard and spoons. My singing voice will forever be a work-in-progress. As a founding member of the Beef Slough Boys, I’ve recorded 3 CDs, and I also perform with Northern Shoveler and Turkey Creek.