Recent Bio:

David’s work often uses place as a metaphor for person, drawing on inner and outer landscapes to explore his experiences as father, son, and partner. David has poems recently published in 2 Bridges Review, Barely South Review, and Yellow Chair Review. His poems have been printed in journals and magazines like San Pedro River Review, Blue Hour Magazine, Contemporary American Voices, and T(OUR). He’s a winner of the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His chapbook Moons, Roads, and Rivers will be published later this year by Finishing Line Press. An avid birder and book nerd, David runs a small branch library in the Wilkes-Barre area, where he also edits Word Fountain, the Literary Magazine of the Osterhout Free Library.

In My Own Words

My son Jonathan and I trying not to lose it.

My son Jonathan and I trying not to lose it during an episode of Dad Libs.

I’ve been writing poetry most of my life, but began seriously something like 25 years ago at university–in Dr. Mary Brown’s creative writing course at Indiana Wesleyan University. I’ve searched but it seems that everything in my notebooks before that was sing-songy sap.

I still chuckle when I remember how, in my journal for that class, I wrote that I felt I had finally written a good poem, and how Dr. Brown replied in the margin, “Great! I’d like to see it.” Well, she didn’t mean it to be as harsh as it sounded, but it certainly gave me motivation to make sure that even the poems in the journal were more noticeably well written after that.

By the end of that class she had written at the top of my semester project that I “had a rare ability to take my poetry seriously without becoming maudlin. I’ve tried to live up that generous compliment.

In years since there was a lot of life lived–divorce, coming out, another long-term relationship, another breakup, career changes. And along the way I kept writing, sometimes online, sometimes in journals, but rarely did I submit a word anywhere for years. When I finally was able to return to school the poem at the bottom of this page won an award from Bloomsburg University and the Academy of American Poets.

Eventually, I started getting poems out there in tiny fits and starts, and now find myself in the midst one of my most active periods of both writing and submitting. I have a couple of different chapbook manuscripts making their rounds through contests, so hopefully, there will be a report of success here on that front eventually.

I’ve also found myself employed finally in a job that I love, and that allows me to spend part of my work day being the Editor-in-chief of a cool little literary magazine.

About the Poetry, Mine and Much More

I don’t self-publish many of my own poems, even here on the blog. Partly that’s because I enjoy celebrating and talking about a variety of poetry, not just my own, and partly because most journals and zines consider a poem found via Google to be “previously published,” and therefore undesirable for their purposes.chickenpoem

I know that’s not how everybody works. I know that’s not everyone’s desire. And I don’t disparage self-publishing at all. It just doesn’t fit with my goals, my dreams, or my intentions at this point (Read this as, “Please stop telling me I should self-publish”).

I will, however, provide links to my own works if they are published online, or links (fingers crossed) for you to find copies in print. On rare occasions I have featured a poem here if I felt it was uniquely fit for the Dad Poet blog. Even more rarely, there will be a poem now and then that will disappear so that I can rework it and send the polished version out for a jaunt on the poetry submission circuit.

The main purpose of this blog when I started it was to celebrate the things that bring me joy (with a view toward keeping my writing muscles limber), and that includes the best of the poetic tradition, both contemporary and classic. You’ll find many readings here, on my YouTube channel, and on my SoundCloud stream, of what I consider great poems by poets both dead and alive, usually not at the same time, however.

But if you are looking for original poems by me, I thank you for the interest! Please keep reading. My recently published poems will be found in the main blog under the category Recently Published. Whereas announcements about poems that have been accepted for upcoming publication will show up under Poetry.

A very incomplete list of my poems available online in one form or another:


I wrote a poem once 
about my neighbors and the moon.
Each brief line dropped 
into place as I let them break
at their will. The syntax
arranged itself just comfortably
so.            Years later

I came back with more 
education and a better sense
of rhythm.         I thought
I could improve
it; make the lines
more powerful,

the innuendos more profound.
            But the new ink
was too dark for the old page,
and my good intentions discolored
the moon.  I’d awakened
      a befuddled old man
and his angry, fuzzy-
slippered wife (I’d forgotten
that my old neighbors had moved
away          long ago).

They wanted to know
what the hell was going
on—who was I?  And 
what had I done to the sky?
Too late almost to save
it, I took whiteout
to the street (the last
bottle on the shelf
at the all-night mini 
mart on that same block),

dimmed     the stars
and ushered back to bed
the little man and his grumbling
wife.          That globe of blood             
still had a pulse—
thank heaven, and I let it return
to where it had been;
on page one
of a college literary 
magazine              simple
and perfect,
hanging low there
in that early night sky.

50 thoughts on “Poet

  1. Hmmm.. intriguing..I like intriguing.. intriguing leads to thought and thought leads to learning….learning leads to acceptance..and acceptance to equality..hmm yes..you I like.


  2. Post online with a different title and altered first few lines and (of course) ficticious screen name.

    And remember, old cowboys can be every bit as bad as teenagers. That’s a fact that is.



    • Well, thanks for having the patience to follow me this far! lol I haven’t blogged much lately as you can see. It’s been a rough year, a busy semester, new job, back to school, dead cerebral cortex, you name it! I read the looking for sonofwalt pieces and was going to respond, but… my screen stayed blank for some reason. 😦


  3. Hey, just wondering how the Dad Poet’s doing. It was cool connecting with you during the NaPoWriMo last year. Hope all is well with you, your boys, and everyone else in your world. Keep writing, stay strong, and have a good year. ~Peace~


    • Thanks, Daniel! I’m doing fine. I haven’t posted anything since Christmas. New semester starred. COLD here in Pennsylvania, and I think after all these years I have either become, or must admit to having always been, one of those folks whose moods turn dark in the lightness cold of January.

      Big and happy plans ahead and the clan here are doing great though. I loved your recent peice/peices on the bus, jail/chapel. Great blend of prose and poem.


  4. Thank you, poetart! I really enjoyed your blog, and am honored that you found these pages and lines worth taking the time to read. Your spirit comes through in your written voice, and it inspires me.


  5. I do need to edit this. Perhaps I should mention “Overvision” was winner of the Savage Poetry Award from the American Academy of Poets and Bloomsburg University, and that it was published in Carver, the faculty journal for Bloom U.
    “Moonwatcher” was previously published in The Crucible, Lock Haven University’s poetry journal.


  6. Dadpoet, thank you so much for the “like” on my poetry post. It looks like we share similar preoccupations: literary writing, theology, attempting to reconcile sacred text with what we know in our hearts to be true of our lives.

    Your poem “Overvision” is magical. I love the concept of altering reality by re-writing an older poem!

    I sincerely look forward to exploring further into the pages of your blog. Thanks for leading me here, and cheers!


    • What a delightful comment, Jennifer. Thank you! I’m very fond of Overvision. It’s one of those poems that grows up like a child, and comes alive on its own terms. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. It’s good to cyber-meet you. 🙂


    • I don’t post too many of them here, no. Though April 5th was one of my own pieces put to video too. After deciding what I am submitting where next I’ll post a few more here. “Cleaving” is another one of mine that we rendered to video in late March.

      Oh, and you are welcome! I enjoyed my visit and will be back. Love those dad moments. I can relate.


  7. I belong to a poetry forum, called Blueline/goobertree.com. we post a poem a day for 30 days. I’m working on my 24th round of thirty. the poems keep getting better and the practice and the commenting keep both me and my writing sharp. You have a great poetic voice-keep writing!


    • Thank you so much for that comment! I am not against editing or revision, but I am too prone to what I’ve called “over-vision.” There is such a thing as too much, isn’t there? 🙂 Thank you for visiting!


    • haha, I guess that explains it well. Yup, the one who is most apt to destroy our own work–ourselves. Sigh. 🙂 So lovely to see your lovely face here in DavidLand tonight! 🙂 Greetings from me and the Pianist.


    • Why thank you. Freaky, kind of that you were commenting on my Poet page while I was commenting on your latest Dverse pub poem. Excellent work, by the way. Please keep it up, and spread the pages wide.


    • Thanks for your very kind words. Yes = I was more specific in my comment to you there about your own poem! – love the white-out, old couple, general theme of this poem. It is great to re-write but these years-later re-writes come from a very different context, and often lose more than the moon! k.


  8. ..when i read this it was like part of you and a confusion was told… i came here via someone’s blog and i must confess i read a lot here… the bios, recordings, poetry features, etc… sorry for stalking… hehe.. i like your poems… i find ’em affecting and engaging to read… and really like your soft, confident tone especially in this particular poem of yours… you don’t just write, you’re guiding us all throughout the entire read… glad i stopped by to read… happy new year… smiles…


    • What a beautiful comment, Kelvin. I am honored, truly. Especially after having now read some of your beautiful poems. You have such economy of words, saying so much in so few words. It’s stunning. Thank you for leaving the bread crumbs for me to follow you to your blog. I made a few comments, but I am not sure they went through. I might try making them under my google account. I truly am honored to be stalked by you. 😉


    • Oh my, forgiveness not needed at all. Frances, for the second time in 24 hours I’ve heard another person read my words. Thank you so very much. You read it so beautifully. I am stunned and grateful.


  9. David, I wanted to contact you by email, but can’t find one for you. Love the poetry, and, as you know, I’m a follower. I have just nominated you for The Versatile Bloggers Award. I have just received such a nomination myself and believe it to be an acknowledgement of outstanding sites by other bloggers. For the details, here is a link to my post: http://thevillagesmith.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/nominated-for-the-versatile-blogger-award-drum-roll-please/


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