Where are you from?
Who are your favorite writers?
Among essayists, Montaigne, Orwell, Emerson, Thoreau, Baldwin, Didion, Hoagland, Lopate, and Rodriguez. Of course, I have favorite novelists and poets too.
Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
The Bible, especially the Prophets and Gospels, Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, Thoreau’s Walden, the essays of Orwell, Baldwin, Camus, Wendell Berry, and the writings of Kenneth Leech and Terry Eagleton have all exerted a strong influence on my writing.
What are your hobbies and outside interests?
I can’t say that I have a hobby. I’m interested in literature, history, theology, political philosophy, in tending things that grow from the ground, and in hearing others talk about their passionate interests.
What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
One of them anyway: “Listen to your wife.”
What is your favorite quote?
One of them anyway: “Clear you mind of cant.” Samuel Johnson.
What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
Q. “Could we meet some time?”
A. I’d love to but I have to keep working.
Where do you write?
In an upstairs room in my house.