chickenGreetings. I’m Pete Beurskens, father, husband, teacher, writer, and hobby farmer. I grew up in Iowa in farm country, was the first of my family to graduate from college, and have had a mixed career–I’ve worked in business (sales, marketing), in non-profit management (grant writer, executive director), and in academia (25 years teaching at two and four-year colleges and in correctional facilities).  In my younger days, I worked as a wilderness ranger and forest-fire fighter in western Colorado and Utah. I enjoy fishing, gardening, canoeing, and biking. I’ve lived and taught in Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado, and now I am settled at MSC-Southeast, though I live on my hobby farm (sheep, goats, chickens, etc.) in rural western Wisconsin.

I first got hooked on reading and writing through Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings series that everyone now knows about because of the movies. As a lad, I liked those books for their depiction of heroism in the face of great evil, but also for their evocation of the beauty of nature and for their humor. Now I read a great variety of things, from classical and popular novels, to poetry, to philosophy and religion, to fishing and travel books.  Some of my current favorite authors are G.K. Chesterton, Wendell Berry, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Dana Gioia, and Michael D. O’Brien.

I have been joyfully married (to just one gal) for 27 years, and have three sons in their teens and twenties.  Luckily all the boys like to read, and I have enjoyed sharing classics of my own childhood with them as they got older.

I am a writer as well as a teacher, having published poems in several national and regional journals.  I have also published many feature and news articles in Big River Magazine (a journal of the upper Mississippi River–I am a bit of a river rat).  Three of my poems have been chosen for the Poet-Artist Collaboration sponsored by Crossings at Carnegie, wherein visual artists choose juried poems, which they then illustrate.  Finally, I have been working on a novel–completed but still in the revision stage (for the past four years!)–which I hope to send out to publishers in the next year or so. The novel is a bit difficult to categorize, but you could call it a literary detective novel with a pro-life ethos.

That’s all for now, except to welcome you all to my site, and to wish you success in your imaginative and literary endeavors.