Poet, Teacher, Writer, Editor

     Welcome to my web site.  In various capacities, I'm a poet, teacher, writer, and editor based in western Wisconsin near the Twin Cities.  My work is strongly rooted here, so in my poems you'll meet some of the people, animals, birds, flowers, and trees I encounter day to day, not least the wonderfully named kinnickinnic, or red osier dogwood or red willow, so plentiful in these parts.  I like the symbolism of kinnickinnic, so ready to root from a cutting that the Indians saw it as an emblem of resurrection.

     I've kept this site simple for easy navigation.  "About" will fill you in on a little biographical background.  "Poems" showcases a few poems with which I've been particularly happy over the years.  I'm using the "Blog" section to air occasional essays on literature, culture, and current affairs.  "Publications" provides a brief bibliography of my published work.  "Contact" tells you how to get in touch with me.  (I always welcome comments by readers, not to mention invitations to read or teach.)  And this home page does double duty as a calendar for upcoming events.  I hope you'll have as enjoyable a time glancing around this site as I've had putting it together. 


Poetry Reading:  Tuesday, April 15, 7:30 p.m., with Robert Bly, Louis Jenkins and Freya Manfred, University Club of St. Paul, 420 Summit Ave., St. Paul, 651/222-1751 or www.universityclubofstpaul.com.  Free.   

Spring 2014 Writing Workshop: 

Writing Green:  Nature Poetry and Ecology (one day)
(Open to all levels)
   Poets have always included the natural world in their subject matter, but what we call "nature poetry" specifically seems to have arisen when industrialization heightened our awareness of the fragile ecological balance on which all life depends.   This workshop surveys the world of nature poetry with such masters as Wordsworth, Thoreau, Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry.  Along the way, we'll look at some Minnesota poets who have written notably of nature, and borrow liberally from the British "ecopoetics" scholar Jonathan Bate's The Song of the Earth and the French poet Francis Ponge's "object" prose poems.  Taking time for enjoyment and discussion of great nature poetry, while staying aware of serious threats to our environment, we'll use writing exercises to hone our ability to create poems celebrating and advocating for the natural world.  
Unity Unitarian Universalist Church, 733 Portland Ave., St. Paul, MN.  Cost:  $79 or $59 for Unity members.
Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.. Contact http://www.eventbrite.com/e/writing-green-nature-poetry-and-ecology-tickets-10768343405

Announcing a New Summer Class at the Loft:
Poetry:  Secrets and Mysteries of Sound
Watch this space for further information on this all new 6-week class beginning Tuesday, July 8 at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Recent Publications

Airmail:  The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer is now available from Graywolf Press.  For a report on the official launch held at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 2, see Minneapolis Star Tribune book review editor Laurie Hertzel's blog at


For a perceptive reviewer's take on the book, see Alice Gregory's review for The New Republic at


I am also happy to report that a British edition of Airmail is just out this past summer from Bloodaxe Books in the UK.  The Guardian in its July 12 edition has published a perceptive review by Fiona Sampson.  Sampson writes:  "Testament to the possibilities of [a writing life well-lived], this is a generous, intimate book.  It should be required reading for everyone interested in poems and the making of poetry."  You can find Ms. Sampson's full review at:


Coming in Spring 2015:  A new collection of poems, The Glory, from Red Dragonfly Press.  Watch this space for further announcements!

Recent Entries

When the Rainbow Starts to Pay: The Triumph of Marques Bovre
    Strictly Discs on Monroe Street in Madison, Wisconsin, occupies a deceptively small corner location in a residential business district. …
At Our Grandparents' House, Watching the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964
Do you remember the fresh shock of the Beatles'look and sound, giddy joy in the choreographedhead-shakes, tumult of yeah-yeahs like…
Tom Hennen: Celebrating a Great Neglected Poet
     Note:  The passage below is excerpted from my longer afterword to Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New…