After a childhood well spent in the toughening snows of Buffalo, New York and on the sunny beaches of Ontario’s Lake Erie shore, I became a literary wag at St. Lawrence University. I went on to cut my journalistic teeth as an Associated Press reporter, covering everything from the disappearance of rural doctors to hog futures, and one murder. Since then, I have produced essays (personal and scholarly) and journalism about cultural- and adventure travel, history, food, rock music, and literature.
Before plunging into publishing, as a second career, I spent ten rewarding years as a professor, following on degrees in English (Univ. of Virginia) and American Studies (Univ. of Minnesota). A Fulbright grant took me to France for a year at Université de Toulouse; and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities enabled me to study at Yale University with RWB Lewis, Edith Wharton’s biographer. I also had a bridge year like no other as Director of Development at Edith Wharton’s American home, The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts.
I worked in publishing for nearly twenty-five years – as acquisitions editor, book packager, publishing consultant, editor in chief, and publisher. The houses: Harvard University Press, Cambridge University Press, Continuum, The Mountaineers Books. I founded Berkshire House Publishers (travel, regional literature and history, food), and we sold the company to WW Norton (many of our titles live on in subsequent editions). As a book packager, I produced multi-volume series on various subjects for major trade book publishers such as St. Martins, Watson-Guptil, and Stackpole.
While on the west coast, in Seattle, as Editor in Chief at The Mountaineers Books, I twice taught “Editorial Perspectives on Publishing” at the University of Washington. The publishing company shrank, but my horizons expanded, leading to a tenured position on the east coast, at Emerson College, in Boston, in the Dept. of Writing, Literature and Publishing. It has been a good run thus far.