I was born in 1974, on Elvis’s birthday, in the ridiculously flat cornfields of Illinois. There wasn’t much to do and the sky was far too large. When I was six, I planted an evergreen tree in our back yard. I thought of it as my spirit tree. By the time I left for college, it was about twenty feet high and round as a dinner plate at the base. One night, a tornado touched down in our back yard and tore my tree away. I took this as a sign that I wasn’t meant to live in Illinois.
Since then, I’ve lived all over the place, including Galway, Ireland, Oberlin, Ohio (where I went to college), Minneapolis, Seattle, New Orleans and Portland, Oregon. I’ve also worked a bunch of odd jobs —digging ditches, feeding wolves, teaching high school English, teaching poetry to children, slinging coffee, and four miserable days of cleaning the fryer at KFC.
Currently, I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, where I teach creative writing and literature at Colorado State University. I live in a pointy green house with a hyper dog, extremely cool wife, and two wild daughters. I enjoy whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, dog wrestling and surfing. I think squirrels are amazing. I dream of the ocean at least once a week. I think happiness in life comes from giving back more than you take away. I believe in the power of stories to change the way we think and act. And I spend a big chunk of every day alone in my basement writing.
Okay, enough about me. I’d much rather hear about you. If you want to send me an email, I can be reached at: toddmitchellbooks (at) hotmail.com