As a teacher, I have worked with students ranging in age from 1 to 90, but now most of my teaching is freelance online. As a poet, I have performed in a wide variety of venues, from Glasgow to Guatemala, but now the most consistent place to find me is in Lowell, MA, at the Untitled Open Mic, where I am the co-host. In 2019, I finished a doctorate in education, looking at the development of literate identity in young writers, and I continue to work with teen poets as an organizer for Freeverse!, Lowell’s youth poetry group. In addition, I have followed a mediation practice for more than forty years and studied in a number of traditions, ranging from early on at the Shree Siddha Peetha in India, later serving as co-director of the Quaker center Woolman Hill in Deerfield, MA, and more recently at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, MA. I am also a visual artist working in a variety of mediums.
I gladly take on the mantle, “Poet,” but, for me, that has a broader definition than might be expected. Essentially, I am an interstitial artist, interested in crossing between genres and forms. As a musician and singer, I like to work with jazz, finding inspiration for new poetry, and using poetry as a frame to create new music. As a performance artist, I am committed to presenting poetry in a new light, so some of my work involves creating settings for well-known poems by other poets. As a writer and editor, I have produced a number of themed poetry collections, including anthologies bringing together work from my poetry community. It gives me both delight and inspiration to work with other poets in creative classes where we can celebrate the diversity of our voices and develop the craft of building with the written word. Also a visual artist, I find that poems will sometimes suggest pictures just as images can generate poems. Art for me is a way of engaging with the universe to both transcend and embody the work of being human; the medium is less important than the message.