I began writing poetry seriously as a graduate student at the University of Wyoming in 1980. Although I loved the notion of playing with words and rhythms, I had no real direction for my poetry. I needed a focus—a theme that I could really sink my teeth into. I found it in the wide open country of Sublette County, Wyoming, where I lived with my family from 1984 to 1990. I began a love affair with wide open, isolated, and stark landscapes that remains with me to this day.
With my wife and three children, I moved from Big Piney, Wyoming, to Craig, Colorado, to teach middle school language arts. Always a huge fan of high western desert environments, I quickly became obsessed with the surreal beauty of Moffat County. My three books of poetry are, in fact, celebrations of my love affair with wild people and places in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Feral Country came first, followed by Slippery Wind. My third book, Dodging Anthills, came out in May of 2012.
Craig, perched on the banks of the Yampa River in Moffat County, is a relatively small and unique Northwest Colorado town. It is located in an area of incredible environmental diversity, boasting everything from mountain ranges to red rock canyons to vast areas of high western desert. Recreational opportunities include trophy big game hunting, fishing, hiking and camping. Tourist destinations in the surrounding area include Brown’s Park, Vermillion Basin, and Dinosaur National Monument. White settlers moved into the Yampa Valley in the 1880’s, but an abundance of lithic litter, pictographs and petroglyphs tell us that Native Americans thrived here for thousands of years first. Moffat County weather is severe; summers can be hot and winters are often brutally cold. People who choose to live there are hardy and strong-willed.
Although I write about a variety of subjects, nature poetry is my first love. One never knows what inspirations or surprises the desert will reveal. I seldom come home from a desert outing without some new knowledge about the environment that surrounds me.