I’m TJ. I write books (and other things).
- This is the Story of His Life—
- John the Revelator
- In Order to Form a More Perfect Union
- Pilgrims: A Love Story
- Self-Helpless: A Misfit’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
- The Unmasked Tenor: The Life and Times of a Singing Wrestler (with Sam Tenenbaum)
I’m grateful to have seen my poems and stories (and other things) appear in a range of publications that I really admire — namely: Quarterly West, Indiana Review, Colorado Review, Bellevue Review, Third Coast, Copper Nickel, New Orleans Review, Blackbird, Posit, DIAGRAM, Verse Daily (and other places). I also have a fair amount of experience writing marketing and development communications for arts and education organizations.
I teach, too (and “administrate”).
Mostly what I teach is writing (workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting) and literature (primarily modern and contemporary American literature but also world literature, including the Bible and other sacred texts). I’ve had the opportunity to work with all kinds of students, in all kinds of classroom environments — in K-12 settings, at colleges and universities, and in community arts programs.
Over the past 2.3 decades of my working life, I’ve proudly collected paychecks from Virginia Tech (my alma mater), the University of Alabama (my other alma mater), the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts, where — with the help of my inimitable colleagues — I direct a Creative Writing program full of precociously talented young writers who win all kinds of awards and challenge me (in the best possible ways) to be the best teaching artist I can be, every single day.
I also help other people write books (and other things).
I’ve worked in several editorial capacities during those aforementioned 2.3 vocational decades, both as a freelancer and in the service of two fine publications housed at the University of Alabama: Black Warrior Review and Alabama Heritage. Lately, I’ve been calling on that experience by partnering with Black Lawrence Press to provide manuscript consultations in poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms.