General Information

Everything I’ve written or made in the aftermath of my wife’s sudden passing in 2015 is here, in multiple formats, for free, accessible via the drop-down menus above. Status, fame, and especially money–those fruits of external validation and public recognition–all appeared irrelevant, impertinent, from the shadow of that loss. So “free” was important to me. And time felt most pressing: I wanted my work out there RIGHT NOW. The traditional press, I know from experience, doesn’t work at that speed. This website is the way I accomplished all that: free, here, right now.  Then, I self-created paperback versions of all these books, very nice editions I think, using the tools available online, where I sell them at the cost of their production (except for my two scholarly books, which are owned and priced by their publisher.) I  understood that my audience would be very small this way. For some reason I believed that those  few who had “ears to hear” would find something of value here, and they have. Some of them, via our online conversations, are now among my best friends, even if I’ve never met them. I hope you’ll find something of value to you here, too.

I’m now retired (I was an English professor at the University of Pittsburgh for 40+ years) and live in Olympia, Washington.  I describe briefly below each of the major headings in the top banner. You can contact me at paulkameen07@gmail.com.

Books of Prose

Personal Essays

I’ve written four books of personal essays over the last 3+ years, one for each season, all based on my daily walks in the woods. The series was originally inspired by  my memory of the walks I took with my wife prior to her passing in 2015 and has since taken on a life of its own. All of these books are available for free, here, via the drop-down menu and in paperback form, at cost, on Amazon.com, via my Amazon author’s page link, above. This Fall, Last Spring and First, Summer are also available as audiobooks here and, in the case of This Fall, on Audible.com.

A Mind of Winter: Essays on the Imagination (2019) combines personal essays based on my walks in the woods around Olympia, Washington, with essays on a variety of philosophers and poets theorizing on the imagination. I include a PDF of the full series.

First, Summer (2018) is my first Olympia-based book, the essays founded, as usual, on my woods-walks, this time in the majestic forests nearby my house. I wrote the essays a few months after I moved here. I include a PDF and audiobook of the series.

Last Spring (2018) is a monograph of essays I wrote during my final semester teaching before retirement, based on my walks in Boyce Park. It serves as the darker “bookend” for the processes of growth and grief I initiated with This Fall. I include a PDF and audiobook of the series.

This Fall (2015) is the collection of essays I wrote over about month’s time, after my daily walks in Boyce Park, a few miles outside of Pittsburgh, during the autumn leaf fall, in the shadow of my wife’s sudden passing the previous winter. I include a PDF and an audiobook of the series.

I’ve made several 2-3 minute slideshows with photos I took on my “standard” Olympia walks. You can view them  at:

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-7ds7WOfZjMKUst7pMIFcKvrrZoNdG78

or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg8aYGGtWPU&list=PL7FmiISKG6RRGZCfeOs7ssCio8PdKvfmp

There are four slideshows in the series. Stop there. Everything that plays after that is what Youtube has in its own queue.

Scholarly Books

I published two scholarly books during my career as an English professor, both still under copyright to the original publisher, so I can’t upload them here directly. My first book, Writing/Teaching, which won the CCC Outstanding Book Award the year it came out, is now available in full-text, from the publisher, in the public domain. My second book, Re-reading Poets, documents my life-long love of poetry via the many specific poets who have made my life deeper and more livable. I provide more information about these under the “Scholarly Books” drop-down, above.

Poetry

I’ve been writing poems in fits and starts (literally) ever since I was a teenager, usually writing furiously for a while, then a long hiatus to catch up with myself. You can access from the drop-down menu the three collections of poems (Li Po-ems, Harvest Moon, and In the Dark) I wrote in a grief-fueled frenzy during September, 2016, after a 20 year hiatus, strangely beautiful poems, I think. I also include two compilations of some of the many poems I wrote between 1975-95, Mornings After and Beginning Was,  and an ongoing monograph of the “tiny” poems I’ve been writing since I got to Olympia, under the working title “slights: my new tiny poems from here not there.”  And there are also a  few miscellaneous poems I wrote in 2017-18. For each book there is a PDF and, for all but slights, sound files of my readings of the poems in their respective collections.

All of the books are also available in paperback form, at cost, on Amazon.com. You can access the titles via my Amazon author’s page link, above. In the Dark and Harvest Moon are also available in audiobook form on Audible.com.

Essays and Talks

“Coming To Terms” pertains to my wife’s sudden passing in February, 2015. It provides some context for the “Songs” page and lays the foundation for This Fall, my first book of personal  essays.

I also offer both a sound file and a PDF of the talk I gave at the 2016 University of Pittsburgh Composition Program Awards event in April 2016, titled “All the Time in the World.” It is an extended meditation on temporality, which has been a lifelong fascination of mine.

And I added a page that archives some of the major scholarly articles I published in the 1980s and 1990s, most of which are difficult or impossible to track down in the marketplace.

Songs

I started singing about 7 years ago for reasons I explain more fully on the “Songs” page. I’ve now uploaded many, many song-covers that range all over historically (from Stephen Foster to Herman’s Hermits) and generically (Big Band, rock and roll, R&B, show tunes, blues, country.) They’re sorted into “albums” by whatever category happens to catch my whim. You can pick the ones you’d like to sample by title or type. I rotate these in and out as new ones emerge.

About 3 years ago, I started writing songs of my own, kind of out of the blue, and it’s a process I truly enjoy and think I’m getting better at. I’ve made 4 albums of my own original songs, and two hybrids, my collaborations with Emily Dickinson and William Blake, all available here and at BandCamp (paulkameen.bandcamp.com), all free.