I am a poet and teacher in Clemson, South Carolina. I grew up in Illinois and Iowa, spending my teens and twenties playing guitar and songwriting in punk rock bands. After attending the University of Iowa, I earned an M.A. in English from Illinois State University in 1993, and a Ph.D. (18th Century British Literature) from the University of South Carolina in 1998. After coming to an end with graduate school, I returned to music, performing throughout the southeast as an Americana singer-songwriter, while holding down jobs as a grocery store worker, house painter, and line cook.
In my mid-thirties, I settled into teaching high school English. I began writing poetry late -- in my mid-forties -- when I was assigned creative writing classes at my school. Thanks to a few very skilled and generous mentors, I've been lucky enough to publish in such journals as Birmingham Poetry Journal, Atlanta Review, Tar River Poetry, Xavier Review, Louisiana Literature, South Carolina Review, The Cape Rock, The San Pedro River Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and The Main Street Rag. In 2016 Main Street Rag Publishing released my chapbook, Winter Skin. In 2018, Iris Press released my first full collection, What Once Burst With Brilliance.
In 2017, I received a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry for the Sewanee Writers Conference.
When not teaching, reading or writing, I race bicycles, still play guitar badly, and obsess about Iowa Hawkeye basketball.