” … and the Word was God.” At the risk of being slightly blasphemous, that bit of scripture from the gospel of John sums up my feelings about the creative process. The notion that wordsmiths can breathe worlds into being has been a dominant theme in my life since I learned to read. And I crave the thrill of creation.
I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, the “can do” city of the New South, to a family with its roots deeply embedded in the North Carolina mountains. My childhood weekends were split between church activities and visiting the family farm in Madison County, where my parents now reside full time. On those trips, I learned never to pass a pasture without mooing at the cows. It’s rude not to say hello to your neighbors.
I earned my bachelor’s degree from Duke University with a double major in English and religion. Most of my English classes had religious themes, and most of my religion classes had literary themes. (Spotting a pattern yet?) While I’ve always liked poetry, one of those classes introduced me to Stephen Mitchell’s translations of selected Rainer Marie Rilke poems, and I fell deeply in love with verse.