I grew up in the Umpqua Valley of Southern Oregon. I was formed by the living water of the Umpqua River. It became my guide and metaphor. Seventy-plus years later the constant, particular chaos of the river near Whistler’s Bend still informs; the voice of the river below Eagle Rock freshens the mind; trolling the smooth water above Wells Creek is a meditation. All other rivers are defined by the one that taught me more than I could possibly learn.
Among other things. I have been a carpenter, janitor, hospital aide, salesman, storyteller and fisherman. The last thirty years of my working life were spent as a librarian. My work includes Easter Creek, just out from Main Street Rag, Daybreak on the Water, Flowstone Press; Ordinary Gravity, Airlie Press; River of Solace, Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award, Turtle Island Quarterly, Flowstone Press; In the House of Memory, BatCat Press; Without a Map, Wellstone Press; Getting By, Holland Prize. Work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Catamaran, Poet Lore, The Sun and ZYZZYVA.
“These poems are in good company with John Prine, Ted Kooser, Edgar Lee Masters—quietly urging affection for the community that E.M. Forster called ‘the true aristocracy of the plucky and the good.’” Kim Stafford
Winner, Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award
“This geographic and emotional terrain matters in all the ways that count.” Michael McGriff