All posts by pkameen

What’s New

My newest collection of essays: Harvest. I’ve added a PDF of the full book, which will be updated as I explain in the book’s preface. (Under Books: Personal Essays, top item. Also available in paperback via Amazon. com.)

Spring Forward and The Imagination, just added (January, 2020). These books separate out the two components of A Mind of Winter, the personal essays based on my woods-walks all together now in Spring Forward, the critical essays on the imagination that served as inter-chapters all together now in The Imagination. The original book remains as is. I started this as an experiment with forms and I liked all the results, options for readers to read the whole or just the genre they prefer from the original book. The Imagination  and Spring Forward are available in paperback via (Under Books: Personal Essays, second and third items.)

I keep adding, every couple of weeks, new poems to slights: my new tiny poems from here not there (Under Poetry Books, first item. Also available  in paperback via

A new album of my own songs: “The Other Side of Goodbye,” kind of a country vibe. (Under Songs: Original Composition Albums, first playlist. Also available, with lyrics, via

A few new cover albums: A “radio music” album of  1920’s classics is just up now. I was on a country music jag last fall, so a couple of tribute albums: “Marty Robbins’ Heartbreakers” and “Hank [Willliams] Again,” and a bluegrass mix,  “Bluer Grass.”  Also, a Big-Bandy-sounding album, super-sweet songs, my favorite genre, “No Two Ways About Love.”(Under Songs, first five playlists.)

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 37 years: a thumbnail CV is included below, under “Books of Prose: Scholarly Books”), and I live in Olympia, Washington.  I describe briefly below each of the major headings in the top banner. You can contact me at

Books of Prose

Personal Essays

I’ve written five books of personal essays over the last 4 years, 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 above, and in paperback form, at cost, on 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

In  Harvest: Essays on Time from Olympia (2019) my woods-walks become scrims for my thinking about temporality, informed by a few recent books by quantum theorists and a variety of poets I happen to be reading nowI’ve  posted a full “draft” of the “book,” terms I put in quotation marks for reasons that will become clear if you read the first essay “on my method.”

A Mind of Winter: Essays on the Imagination (2019) combines personal essays based on my walks in the majestic woods around Olympia, Washington, with mini-essays on a variety of philosophers and poets theorizing on the imagination. I include a PDF of the full series. I also divided the two primary components of this book–the personal essays and the critical sketches–into separate books, the former now available as Spring Forward, the latter as The Imagination, both in PDF form here.

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:

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.

Here is a thumbnail version of my academic CV, with major items only:



My whole “career “as a poet, such as it is, has been a series of discontinuities, starts and stops, sometimes long ones, dramatic changes in style and substance. I have no idea why. It all seems out of my hands for the most part. I quit “submitting” (what a terrible fate for a poem) poems for publication about 25 years ago, a combination of irritation with and loss of interest in that process. I write what comes to me and stop when it stops. It’s all here for free.

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 a current book of the “tiny” poems I’ve been writing since I got to Olympia, under the title “slights: my new tiny poems from here not there.”  I just keep adding to it as I write more. 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 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

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.


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 (, all free.