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Writing poetry and playing games in the Upstate.

Biography

I lived for several years in Fairbanks, Alaska with my wife and daughter and was active in the creative writing community of the state. And there’s a lot of great literature happening in the Far North. My scholarly and creative work explores place, science, and non-human nature in pursuit of a definition of ecopoetry (my ecopoetry manifesto is on my blog).

It may seem obvious to explore the intersection of the human and non-human in a place that remains as relatively free of humans as Alaska, but the truth of those intersections are as easily observed anywhere on the planet if one simply looks carefully. This act of looking carefully, for noticing both the human and not-human in any particular place, is central to my sense of the world and my poetry. I believe that in a time of climate crisis artists must look beyond ourselves and engage the non-human world around us. By looking outward we understand ourselves and our place in world as well as our place among other humans.

I have also written about games and gaming, a cultural space that involves people considering how to engage others in a tightly constrained situation. In many ways, my interest in games parallels my interest in poetics: the creation of pattern and experience in a small space with arbitrary rules dictated by sound, rhythm, and play.

My poems have appeared in North American Review, Hawk and Handsaw, Painted Bride Quarterly and many other journals. Originally from North Carolina, I was the managing editor for Prairie Schooner for several years, an editor at the University of Alaska Press, and now I work for the University of Illinois Press as an acquisitions editor.

Interests

ecopoetics, place-based writing, history, poetry, games, nature, ecocriticism, art, tai chi, science, movies and a wide, wide choice of music