I’m an avid rider and writer who lives in Denver, Colorado, and my main bike is a Stumpjumper FSR 29er. Over the years, I have owned (and broken) more than a few bikes, including a Felt Team Virtue, a 2005 Rocky Mountain ETSX-50, and a lime green K2 something-or-other.
I also have a homemade single-speed 26er, and a single-speed cruiser built from my teenage-years-ten-speed RoadAce 202.
I’m currently working on a book for mountain bikers planning to, thinking casually about, or who’ve already ridden, the Colorado Trail. It’s scheduled to be published sometime in 2021.
A former recipient of a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship and a PlatteForum Fellowship, my work has appeared in such places as Mountain Gazette, Copper Nickel, Threepenny Review, 5280, Many Mountains Moving, Pleiades, Red Rock Review, Rio Grande Review, Georgetown Review, and Bloomsbury Review. I’ve published two books of poetry, Active Gods and No Stranger Than My Own, published by Conundrum Press, and a chapbook of poems written in collaboration with Garrett Ammon, Artistic Director at Ballet Nouveau Colorado, entitled Intersection. I’m also at work on a new collection, entitled (so-far) Gun Poems.
Growing up, I was an avid runner–it was the only sport I was mildly good at–and participated in cross country and indoor and outdoor track in high school and University of Rochester. As a high-school sophomore, I ran a sub five-minute mile; in 1987 I became an NCAA Team All-American in Cross Country. In 1988, I somehow won the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the inaugural University Athletic Association championships, even though I slammed my knee into a barrier and fell on my face. That same year I placed fourth at the New York State Track and Field Championships in the steeplechase.
In case you care, my best times include a 25:45 for a five-mile road race, 4:04 for the 1,500 meters, 1:59 for 800 meters, and 3 hours 4 minutes in the 1992 Boston Marathon, which I ran as an unregistered bandit. After years of dealing with nagging injuries from the terrific pounding that running produces, I took up mountain biking. And I love it. Because of the constant striving that is inherent in the sport; because one can never be perfect. There’s always a steeper hill, a more troubling technical section, to conquer. In short, I am in love with failure, falling over, and pain. Riding quiets the voices in my head like running used to.
I’m co-founder of Lighthouse Writers Workshop, with my wife and program director Andrea Dupree. In 1997, we came up with the idea of running our own creative writing workshops under the name “Lighthouse” while looking at an Edward Hopper painting, “Lighthouse at Two Lights.” Since then, I’ve taught poetry and memoir writing workshops for Lighthouse and University of Denver. When Lighthouse officially became a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2004, I was named Executive Director, mostly because I knew how to use Quickbooks.
Over the years, I’ve worked as a water meter reader, board of elections paper-clip counter, college dining hall dishwasher, pizza delivery guy, paper boy, UPS truck loader, accounts payable clerk, painter’s helper, high school girls’ cross country coach, and ski instructor. I grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, New York, called Cheektowaga, which is Iroquois for “Land of the crabapples trees.” My dad is a retired postal carrier; my mom was a medical secretary. My two older sisters and I were the first in our family to attend college. I live with my wife, two daughters, and a Gallivant, our big crazy dog, in Thornton, Colorado.