Selected Works

Books of Poetry
“Openness, depth, imagination and precision.”
–V.B. Price
“A passionate Lawrentian poet...He sings beautifully and the lion roars.”
–Gerald Stern
“Magical and uncommonly compassionate.”
–John Nichols

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Biography

I was born in Washington, D.C., the sixth child of an environmentalist and an arts activist. I earned my B.A. and M.A, both in American literature, from George Washington University, and my M.F.A. in poetry from New England College. I’ve taught creative writing, literature and composition at the University of New Mexico, the University of Nevada, and Nicholls State University, where I'm currently assistant professor and poet-in-residence, and also serve as chief editor of the online journal Gris-Gris.

My poems and short stories have appeared in many publications, and I’ve published five books of poetry: Learning the Language (Bellowing Ark Press, 1997), First Identity (Redgreene Press, 2000; Winner of the 2000 Redgreene Press Chapbook Award), Home in the Dark (Sunstone Press, 2002), Another Anatomy (Finishing Line Press, 2007; Semi-finalist, 2006 Finishing Line Press Chapbook Award), and The Welcome Table (Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series, University of New Mexico Press, 2009; Winner, 2009 New Mexico Book Award).



Pilgrimage

I'm tired of monotheism.
I, for one, for many, prefer the cockroach
emerging from the ivy, reading
the night with quivering antennae,
the fat rattlesnake that turned me back
out of the canyon's rocky throat,
presences in a hallway of willows.
Yesterday we scrubbed slippery, clayish mud
from the season's first potatoes, their irregular
roundnesses all the psalms my palms ever wanted.
I traveled more than half a life
to get here--just don't ask me how.
I left the cat sleeping beneath the morning table
and walked out along the dry rain ditch that runs
behind neighborhoods stunned by heat, past grass banks
burnt the color of hay, faltering cinder-block walls,
waves of orange trumpet and grape vines
breaking over fences, a tree house rotting
in the green branches of the mulberry, its tenant
having long since descended.
I walk toward mountains I will not reach,
toward my death, but the mourning doves
and sumacs walk their own stories.
One minute I'm alone, and the next
belongs to leaves and ghosts. How many voices
have frequented that catalpa? Who is wandering
my blood? I build a shrine in my feet
for worlds to come through. I let the wind
arrange the windows.