After earning a PhD. in English at Ohio State University and teaching for a year, I worked in railroad labor relations for about fifteen years. Since my focus was medieval literature, the transition was not difficult.
Seized by midlife crisis, I quit my job and we (spouse and three children) moved to a small farm in the northern Pennsylvania mountains, where I planned to write and grow food. By chance, I picked up part-time work at a small state university and 23 years later retired as a full professor, having served as department chair for a couple of years. Now we live in the North Shore of Massachusetts, and though we live near the center of a small city, we back on a pond, and a short kayak trip up the small river that feeds the pond puts me in the woods that line its banks.
For six years (until 2012) I wrote “Reading Nature” a regular column reviewing books about nature for Mountain Home, a regional magazine that has won Keystone Press Awards. With James Guignard, I wrote the “Introduction” and edited Literature, Writing, and the Natural World (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).