“The Man Who Last Used My Desk”

Assemblage: English 395 “Topics in the Teaching of English: Visual Rhetoric” Fall 1988 I came to Illinois State in August of 1987. In the fall of 1987, I proposed turned a musty student lounge in 408 Stevenson into a professional writing classroom to support the technical writing program. That November, I got Apple to give … Read more

Diane Wakoski: “Offering to Trade Lives with the Clam

Assemblage: English 350 “Visible Rhetoric” Fall 1994 I studied with two outstanding creative writing teachers at Michigan State: Al Drake (a new media poet and novelist thirty years before we knew what that term meant) and Diane Wakoski. Wakoski was able to articulate in workshop what a poem was doing right. This was a remarkable … Read more

William Stafford “With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach

Assemblage: English 350 “Visible Rhetoric” Fall, 1995 I think William Stafford is a remarkable poet on many levels. Not just his poems or poetry, but the way he crafted a life and found balance between writing, family, teaching, and administration. One of his strategies was to get up at four to write. Sadly I could … Read more

Galway Kinnell: from The Book of Nightmares

Assemblage: English 495 “Topics in English: Computers and Composition” Summer 1989 I had heard Kinnell read from The Book of Nightmares when I was an undergraduate at Michigan State. It was as close to a genuine religious experience as I have had. In my head, 50 years later, I can still hear his voice at … Read more


Assemblage: English 350 “Visible Rhetoric” Fall 1992 Publication: way station magazine, 4 (1993) p 30.

Robert Hayden: Those Winter Sundays

Assemblage: “English 409.4 “Using Technology to Teach Writing in the Middle School and High school: The Importance of Paying Attention” Fall 2002 English 409.4 was a class for area teachers who were interesting in getting a certification in the teaching of writing. There were six courses in the sequence taught one a semester. Each course … Read more

Jim Harrison: from “Returning to Earth”

Assemblage: English 395 “Topics in the Teaching of English: Visible Rhetoric” Fall 1989 Harrison drew this self-portrait when he signed my copy of Letters to Yesenin. Notice the wandering left eye, an affliction we shared.

Grand River 4 PM Strike

Assemblage: Happiness Holding Tank 1971 (get citation and scan cover). My first assemblage, created when I was a junior at Michigan State University and published as an issue of Bud Drake’s journal Happiness Holding Tank. What you can’t really tell from this scan is that I had the printer trim the right side of the … Read more

Every Hair on Your Hear is Numbered and God Knows When Each One Falls

Assemblage: Keweenaw Assemblage Spring 1985 Publication: Happiness Holding Tank 18 (1978): np. At the time of this assemblage Spring 1985, I was regularly teaching creative writing classes at Michigan Tech. This publication was my effort to help build a writing community in Houghton. The page was printer on an image writer dot matrix printer at … Read more