Born in Portland, Oregon, near the end of the Baby Boom, Tim J. Myers grew up in Colorado, primarily Colorado Springs. His earliest memories are of the landscape of the Pikes Peak Region, where the prairies meet the Front Range, and he considers himself a middle-class Western American.
His parents are Midwesterners. His father was an OB-GYN with a large and thriving practice in the Springs, and his mother raised eleven children; Tim’s the oldest. The Myers are mainly Irish and German by extraction; Tim feels a particular interest in his Irish roots.
A problematic student in early elementary school (he once got an “F” in “Understanding what’s read”), he decided in sixth grade, on what seemed like a whim, to turn in a poem for a writing assignment. The poem concerned the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Tim was a fairly cheerful youth, actually), and his teacher Sister Boniface praised him for it—something he’d never even imagined could happen. Her encouragement led him to more poetry. At about that time his mother bought the family an old upright piano, and after he quickly lost interest in lessons he began to write songs on his own, which he continues to do.
In high school Tim played fullback and linebacker for his small Catholic high school; in 1971 he was the Gazette Telegraph Player of the Year, one of Kickoff Magazine’s “Top 100 Backs,” and a High-School All-American. All along, however, what he really loved was basketball, an unrequited love (he spent most of his time on the bench) as perhaps befits a lyric poet.
Just before leaving for college, Tim fell in love with Priscilla Gehrung, whom he still adores beyond all possibility of expression. While she began her teaching career (she’s currently a reading specialist in the Education Department at Santa Clara University), Tim finished his B.A. in English. He then earned his Masters in Lit at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he and his wife began teaching at the American School in Stavanger, Norway, and then at a community school in London. The family, now including two boys, then moved to Tokyo, where Tim and Priscilla taught at the American School in Japan.
Tim continued to teach when they moved to Texas, as Priscilla earned her Ph.D. at UT-Austin. Their daughter was born in ’91, Priscilla soon took a professorship in Bakersfield, California, and for the second time Tim found himself a stay-at-home father. The family then lived for seven years in Plattsburgh, New York, a small, beautiful city just north of the Adirondacks and an hour south of Montreal.
Tim’s been nominated for two Pushcarts and has published three previous books of poetry. Nectar of Story earned a 2016 Outstanding Poetry award from the Wisconsin Library Association and includes endorsements by Grace Cavalieri, Chase Twichell, National Book Award finalist Ron Hansen, and Native-American writer and storyteller Joseph Bruchac. Dear Beast Loveliness: Poems of the Body earned an excellent review from Cavalieri, and his chapbook That Mass at Which the Tongue Is Celebrant was published by Pecan Grove Press. He’s published over 130 poems (Rattle, Northeast, South Carolina Review, Southern Humanities Review, Green Fuse, national anthologies) and won a first prize in a national poetry contest judged by John Updike. He also won a prize in one of the major competitions in science fiction/fantasy. His Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood was featured on the Parents Magazine site and won the Ben Franklin Digital Award. His work has appeared in LARB, ElectricLiterature.com, America, The Christian Science Monitor, Media Ethics, and New York History. He also won the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction, and the West Coast Songwriters Saratoga Chapter Song of the Year.
Tim has 16 children’s books out and two more on the way, as well as 14 story-apps with Amazon Rapids. The Thunder Egg earned endorsements from Joseph Bruchac and Paul Goble. Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe earned great reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and SLJ. Basho and the River Stones, one of three finalists for a 2007 California Young Readers medal, was a Junior Library Guild selection and an NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and got excellent reviews from The New York Times, Kirkus, Booklist, and a starred review in SLJ. Tanuki’s Gift got an excellent boxed review with art in the New York Times, won an Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award, and was a Nick Jr. Magazine “Best Book of the Year” and a Bank Street Honor Book. Basho and the Fox (Cavendish ‘00) was read aloud on NPR by Daniel Pinkwater, made the New York Times bestseller list for children’s books, and was chosen as a Smithsonian Notable Children’s Book, a CBC “Not Just for Children Anymore” selection, and a Bank Street Honor Book.
Tim now lives in Silicon Valley, where he’s a senior lecturer in English at Santa Clara University. His oldest son is a comp-rhet professor at CU Boulder, his younger is earning a history PhD at Cornell, and his daughter is a UC Berkeley grad, Stanford public-relations expert, and novelist.
And Tim keeps working in various genres, sometimes wondering if his lifetime will be enough to finish all the projects he has in his head. Down in the White of the Tree: Spiritual Poems is his first book for Regal House Publishing.
Find him at www.TimMyersStorySong.com or on Facebook.
It’s may be worth mentioning that he can whistle and hum at the same time, though the result isn’t all that pleasant.