Wow, getting across the finish line always takes a lot longer than expected.  But after a couple editing episodes and long discussions, the blues poet James R Merrill has published his first ever collection of poetry.  Merrill has been writing for over forty years and taught creative writing at the college and high school level for over twenty years.  Merrill earned a MFA from the renowned ‘beat’ school Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO.  Currently, he writes, gives workshops, and reads at poetry open mikes in and around his hometown Keizer, Oregon.

Now, in the autumn of his life, time and courage have been summoned and he has consented to publish his collection on The Firebird Rising.  He exemplifies the Firebird vision:  idealist, un-heralded, truth-telling, non-literary establishment, Boomer, and perhaps most importantly a visionary.

James R. Merrill has published two books of poetry and a manual for creative writing, since retiring from a varied career in public education.  Jim worked in ESL for adults, special ed, graduate writing classes, mainstream high school, and ultimately at a boarding school for American Indians in Salem, OR.

Yes, Jim Merrill is an original and I’m proud to have him on The Firebird Rising.  Welcome aboard Jim.  Thanks for waving your zen flag with us.