The Poet

IMG_1920My first chapbook Moons, Roads, and Rivers, was released in December of 2017 by Finishing Line Press. My second chap is called Angels & Adultery. It was selected by Nickole Brown for the Robin Becker Chapbook Series and published by Seven Kitchens Press in May of 2018. I’m currently working on a few other projects, one of which is a father-son chapbook with my son, Micah.

My poems have appeared in various literary magazines and journals, including 2 Bridges Review, Barely South Review, San Pedro River Review, and Contemporary American Voices .

I was awarded the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets for my poem “Overvision” (Moons, Roads, and Rivers). For three years I was the editor-in-chief of Word Fountain, the Literary Magazine of the Osterhout Free Library.

A librarian by day, I enjoy birding, hiking, and camping with my three grown sons, in the woodlands of Pennsylvania where I live with my favorite pianist.

The Father—Wait, and what’s this about Birds?

This blog used to be called The Dad Poet, and of course, I am obliged to tell the joke again: That’s Dad Poet, not Dead Poet. What kind of father would I be if I did not live up to the responsibility of telling dreadful dad-jokes?

I started this site nearly a decade ago as a place of refuge and inner peace. I was feeling unappreciated, unattractive, tolerated, rather than loved. I needed to focus on my writing again, and blogging seemed a good way to keep the writing muscles limber. If I wasn’t exactly writing poems, I was keeping my appointments with the muse, as Mary Oliver might say.

I decided I would focus, not on my bad situation, but on the things that made me feel most happy and alive. These things were fatherhood, poetry, and nature, specifically birding, or as they used to call it, “bird watching.”

Soon enough, it turned into blog a poetry blog from a dad’s point of view. A dad who also happened to be a non-compulsive, or “lazy” birder (Yeah, I don’t get up at 5:30 am to hit the hot spots for pre-dawn bird calls). You’ll also find a fair amount of other people’s poems that I have recorded on my SoundCloud and YouTube channels before I shared them here.

A Weird Resume

I was an English major who studied education, linguistics, and, of all things, religion. I worked as a cruise-tour co-host, a radio personality, a waiter, a restaurant manager, a customer service representative, and a voice for a major national weather company.

I have been a choir director, a Sunday school teacher, a youth minister, a skeptic, and eventually, an activist for gay parents, and a webmaster for one of the largest global groups of gay fathers.

My first experience with “What Work Is” was being a porter (janitor, basically) in a donut shop, and then a retail sales boy in my hometown’s premier men’s clothing store. Later, I was both a cleaner and a driver of buses, school vans mostly. I even did some roofing and painting work and took a short stint on a borough road-work crew.

In Summary

Those three sons of mine are grown young men now, and one of them has become a fine poet in his own right. I live with my long-term partner and husband-to-be in Northeast Pennsylvania where I work as a public library director.

I’ve gotten hands dirty and heart broken. I think I’m on my third life by now.

How nice it was of you to have taken the time to read this far and become acquainted with me. I hope you enjoy the poems.