I was born and raised in Greenville, MS. The area is better known as The Delta. There, through a great deal of hell-raising, I learned to appreciate the land and wildlife that surround the Mississippi River. This is the place where the seeds of creative inspiration developed through music, art, and literature.
After high school I enlisted in the Air Force, becoming a Crew Chief on the KC-135 aircraft. I was able to use my time in the military as a way of collecting experiences. My last two years of service I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, which created a lasting impression that always finds a way to sneak in my projects.
My enlistment ended the week of September 11th, 2001. Returning to the United States in the middle of such a horrific tragedy after living abroad created confusion and a great deal of anxiety. The U.S. was different, and as any military member returning home, it was extremely hard to fall back into the cogs a civilian life.
Soon after separating from the military I visited Wilmington, NC. Before the end of the year, I moved there and enlisted in school. Wilmington provided the perfect backdrop to hone my craft as a writer and as a musician.
Not long after I moved, I was able to talk a handful of great Mississippi musicians to move out to Wilmington as well. Home had appeared to come to me. By the end of 2003, I had taken a break from school and my band, Willie and Me, was on the road and playing shows up and down the East Coast.
While music had always allowed me to be creative and perform, during this time I continued to write. In 2006, I decided to return to school at University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) to complete a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Poetry. During this time, Willie and Me slowed down on the road and I became singer and guitarist for the band, My Heart Belongs to Buffalo.
I graduated from UNCW in 2008. Luckily, I was accepted in the Masters of Fine Arts Program at McNeese State University (MSU) in Lake Charles, LA. The move to Louisiana was a bittersweet move. While I was leaving a amazing network of supporting and accepting friends, I was able to be closer to my family and the landscape that fills much of my creative inspiration.
During my three years at MSU, I did continue to play solo shows; however, my main focus was poetry. MSU gave me the opportunity to teach English Composition. While at MSU I married Missy Renee Smith (from North Carolina). I knew she had to be the one if she would leave the beach and travel with me to the Deep South. I graduated in 2011 with a MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry and a MA in English.
After graduation in 2011, my wife and I returned to North Carolina, moving to Carolina Beach. There I was able to focus on my writing, artwork, and music. My chapbook manuscript, Fantasies of Men, won the Main Street Rag 2012 contest and was published in 2013 by Main Street Rag.
In the Summer of 2013 my wife and I both received wonderful job opportunities back in my hometown. After years of coaching competitive gymnastics, Missy is now the program director of gymnastics and head team coach at the Greenville YMCA. I became a reporter for the award winning, Delta Democrat-Times.
In March 2014, I left the Delta Democrat-Times to work in the Mayor's office as the Executive Assistant to the Mayor. In September 2015, I move on and now serve as Project Manager for the Washington County Economic Alliance.