I relish sharing work out loud, presenting and speaking in unusual ways, interacting with students, and answering unexpected questions.
This is not only because of the strange convergence of different interests in my life, but also because of how deeply my own practice as a writer has been shaped by the experience of taking words off the page and embodying them in life, story, and song.
My creative work grows out of more than two decades of living between worlds. I came to poetry through the back door, rediscovering it while studying Tamil and living in south India from 1998 to 2000 and during several long stays that followed.
It was my Tamil teacher, the late Dr. K. V. Ramkoti, who insisted I begin memorizing poems, which forever changed my experience of language and life. Reciting poems aloud, feeling them in my mouth and in my ears and in my body, I found anew a delight in words I’d almost lost.
So when read, speak, teach, or perform, I draw on all my experience to share that delight in ways that can reawaken it in others.
At times this even includes elements from my past as a professional magician. (You can read more about this in my essay, “First Loves.”)
More recently, I have been drawing on my experience in theater and music to create dynamic presentations and original performances.
Words and Wonder
Here are a few examples of some recent talks, presentations, and workshops:
- The inaugural talk for “Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets,” curated by Shin Yu Pai and presented by Town Hall Seattle and KUOW.
- A workshop for young dancers at the Sahrdaya Foundation Dance Academy, Chennai, India.
- A featured presentation on Cascadian Zen for a 2-day seminar at Seattle University.
- A conversation on poetry and paradox with healer and teacher Fiona Moore.
- An original show with music about the story of Sadako Sasaki for the Family Series at Vashon Center for the Arts.
- Whimsical explorations of grammar in natural settings for the Cozy Grammar series of online video courses.
Do you work with students or organize events for people and communities interested in discovering—or rediscovering—the power of words to inspire, teach, and delight us amidst turmoil and confusion?
Do you want to help make language come alive for others in ways that are both accessible and profound?
I’d be honored to meet you and to explore what I can offer the unique people and places you work with and for.
Please contact me whenever it feels right and we’ll find a time to talk.