Current Evergreen Faculty, Academic Dean
B.A., Sociology and English Education, University of Washington
M.A., Theory and Practice of Writing, Utah State University
Born in Puyallup, Washington at the end of WWII to a combat veteran and a clerk, I worked as a farm laborer (berries and chickens), trapper, cannery worker, jet engine expeditor, roofer, framer, poet-in-the-schools, firefighter, advanced life-support medic and, late in life, professor and Dean. This list of jobs seems typical to me for a person my age living in the west, and probably has defined me more than any other influence.
Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism
Latest Publication Title
The Woman and the War Baby, Blue Begonia Press, 2008
Novels: The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, The Ascension Factor, Jaguar, ViraVax, Burn
Poetry: Finding True North, The Single Man Looks at Winter, Last Rites, Last Call, Sleight of Hand, Learning the Ropes, The Woman and the War Baby
Recent short fiction: Carve magazine, Oregon Literary Review, Puerto del Sol
Recent anthology: New Poets of the American West
From The Woman and the War Baby:
That first afternoon in the village they bring me the boy
shot by a Contra while hoeing beans. Bones click
in his thin neck cradled in the bloody arms of his father. His
mother kneels and weeps, a quick afternoon rain patters
as the parrots swoop in, my hands and my heart
as empty now as the vision in the boy’s black eyes.
My hands and the bullet are Americans. The hoe, East
German, the day, fragrant and unforgiving as God. The
father lays his son at my feet. A last bubble of blood bursts
from his lips and I remember my daughter, her bubblegum
and how much I love her. “Save him,” the father whispers.
“Through God, save my son.” I can’t even save myself.
My stethoscope silences the crowd. I hear its feathery rasp
on skin, the chatter of parrots, the plop-plop of my sweat
against his skinny chest. His pupils, like the rest of us,
like the sun and the rain and the afternoon parrots, are fixed.
I can’t look up, I can’t stand; I want to run and weep and
shoot that sniper who is just someone else’s son trying to come home.
How did Evergreen help you in your career?
Working at Evergreen leaves little time or mental energy for writing, so the effect has been to return me to writing what I like, regardless of publication possibilities (I have a job, after all). My freelance career had to pay the rent; though I was interested in every novel project and wrote my best in the process, I passed up numerous projects that would not have been a sure sale. I'm trying to recoup some of those now.