I was born and raised in Trona, a small desert village swept by wind and California Bedouins not far from Death Valley. The town produced potash and juvenile delinquents. For a while my family lived at a gold mine. We didn’t get television until I was 10 years old, something for which I am eternally grateful. I earned a BA degree in English from Fresno State College and was later fortunate enough to study the craft of writing with people like Raymond Carver, M.F. Beal, and Seamus Heaney, who later won the Nobel Prize for literature. Heaney was a visiting writer for a class held at University College, Dublin, Ireland. Heaney liked the “Americanness” of a poem of mine, titled “Laundry.” I thought he had stopped at a pub or two before reading it but didn’t disagree with his assessment, which was generous. (“Laundry” is on p. 69 of Nights of Naked Mannequins). I also studied at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. One class I took was devoted entirely to James Joyce’s funny novel, Ulysses. I know tons about that book that I can never work into conversations. While at the Yeats Summer School in Sligo, Ireland , I was supposed to give Sir Stephen Spender, a quite famous British poet, a ride to Dublin, but for some reason avoided that uncomfortable duty. I have had many, many, many poems and short stories published in what are apparently obscure literary journals, considering the amount of feedback that has fedback. A book of noir (nasty) poems was recently published by Austin Hall Press. It’s called Nights of Naked Mannequins, and the cover photograph, which you can see in the picture on the right (also in the banner above), was taken in Athens, Greece, on June 12, 2006.