I was born and raised in Janesville, WI, and moved around the west for several years before coming back to the rivers and lakes, farm fields and forests of the Midwest.
While before pursuing college I read widely in modern literature and world religious literature, after encountering Old English (ca. 450-1100) poetry, my primary areas of interest and research quickly became Old and Middle English poetry, medieval Western monasticism, and the Western contemplative tradition.
In addition to my scholarship, my original verse and verse translations of Old and Middle English poems (including Chaucer and John Lydgate) have appeared in a number of journals and magazines. My first chapbook, Lofsangas: Poems Old and New, is a collection of verse translations of little-translated Old English poems along with a few original compositions. My first poetry collection, Sunk in Your Shipwreck, charts a verse itinerary thru different parts of my own life, different parts of the world, and different cultural and religious visions.
Bringing together my interest in Benedictine monasticism and Old English literature, my first book is a translation of St. Æthelwold of Winchester’s Old English Rule of St. Benedict, the first vernacular translation of the Rule and part of the tenth-century Anglo-Saxon Benedictine reform. In Æthelwold’s day, translators were still figuring out how precisely to accomplish their goals when bringing works from Latin into their mother tongues, so his Old English Rule of St. Benedict varies in many details from the original Latin Rule. I am starting to experiment in formal and informal instruction with ways of framing Old English poetry within the context of the Benedictine Reform that Æthelwold’s version of the Rule bears witness to.
My second book, In the Bosom of the Father: The Collected Poems of a Benedictine Mystic, commissioned by the Abhishiktananda Centre for Interreligious Dialogue and appearing from Resource Publications, presents for the first time the collected poems of twentieth-century Benedictine mystic Swami Abhishiktananda (Dom Henri Le Saux) in Modern English verse translation. The publication of this book has led to my leading retreats, giving readings, and guest lecturing in college classrooms on Swami Abhishiktananda himself, interreligious dialogue, and mysticism. I hope that this will only continue, as I have met such wonderful folks thru these events!