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, recognition, fame, money–those fruits of external validation and public recognition–all appeared irrelevant, even impertinent to me from the shadow of that loss. And time felt most pressing: I wanted my work out there NOW. I have self-created paperback versions of all of my creative work, using the amazing tools available for free from Amazon, where I sell those books at cost (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 though I’ve never met them. I hope you’ll find something of value to you here, too.
I’m now retired and have moved to Olympia, Washington, to be closer to daughter and to myself. I describe briefly below each of the major headings in the top banner, all drop-down menus which compile my creative and critical work, available in multiple formats here for free and at cost in online stores.
You can access from the drop-down menu my most recent chapbook, poems I’ve written since I moved to Olympia, called slights, as well three collections of poems (Li Po-ems, Harvest Moon, and In the Dark) I wrote in 2017. I also include two collections of poems I wrote between 1975-95, Mornings After and Beginning Was, and a few miscellaneous poems I wrote in 2018. For each book there is a printable PDF and, for all by slights (too new), sound files of my readings of the poems in their respective collections.
First, Summer 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 most of the essays during September of 2018.
This Fall is the collection of essays I wrote in the fall of 2105, over about month’s time, after my daily walks in Boyce Park during the autumn leaf fall, in the shadow of my wife’s sudden passing the previous winter. I include a PDF of the full series, downloadable and printable, if you prefer to read from hard copy. There is also an audio book of my readings of the essays.
Last Spring is a short monograph of essays I wrote in the “spring” term of 2018, my final semester teaching before retirement. It serves as the darker “bookend” for the processes of growth and grief I initiated with This Fall. I include a PDF of the full series, downloadable and printable, if you prefer to read from hard copy, as well as an audiobook of my reading of the essays.
My essay “Coming to Terms,” the first piece under “Essays,” which pertains to my wife’s sudden and unexpected passing in February, 2015, may be useful contextually in understanding the significance of these walks.
I published two scholarly books during my career, still under copyright to the original publisher, so I can’t upload them here directly. My first book, though, 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.
“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, the book of my essays.
I also offer both a sound file and a PDF of the talk I gave at the 2016 Composition Program Awards event in April 2016, titled “All the Time in the World.”
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 in the marketplace.
I started singing about 5 years ago for reasons I explain under “Songs” above. I’ve now uploaded many, many songs 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 by whatever category happens to catch my whim. You can pick the ones you’d like to sample by title or type.
Then, about 2 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 3 albums of my own songs now, and one hybrid, my collaboration with Emily Dickinson, all available here and at BandCamp (paulkameen.bandcamp.com), all free.