Bringing Poetry to Students and Veterans
I graduated from San Diego State University. As I was nearing the end of my tenure in graduate school, I began working with the Carlsbad Library in Carlsbad, CA. I worked with the poet James Allen to bring in poets to read and to lead poetry workshops. After James Allen's death, I took over the program and ran Magee Perk Poets readings and workshops from 1995 to 2013.
Through my involvement with the poets leading the workshops, I became involved with CPITS, California Poets in the Schools. As a CPITS poet, I worked in grades 1-12, bring poetry to the students. Eventually, I became an area coordinator for San Diego County.
Perhaps my most exciting years in poetry were those years leading workshops for elementary and secondary students. Their poetry seemed to flow effortlessly from the past to the present to the future, and during our class read-around, their poetry seemed to connect us to a community larger than ourselves.
As a teacher, my second most exciting time was teaching composition and literature in the Vincennes outreach program on the Navy base, located on Coronado Island, CA. As it turned out, my most dedicated students were the enlisted personnel.
My teaching career was sandwiched between working as a trail locator for the Cleveland National Forest and as a construction inspector in the private sector. After 40 years in construction, I retired. My poetry draws on those experiences; as well, as growing up in the farmland, north of Detroit, Michigan and my army experience during the Vietnam War.