AFTER LIVING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA FOR YEARS, I now make my home in a small outport town on the eastern coast of Newfoundland, where I have been very happy as a gardener, father, musician and writer. In past years, I homesteaded in the Gulf Islands, sailed the BC coast as
far north as Prince Rupert and worked as a biologist, writer and publisher, musician, teacher, curriculum designer and school principal.
I spent 25 years teaching in rural schools, and have worked closely with native tribal elders to develop programs to renew aboriginal languages and traditions. I have travelled the world to perform and to explore new cultures. Music and writing have woven through my life, with periods of years as a full time performer and recording artist. Now I am mainly a writer, musician and gardener.
During the past thirty years, my short fiction has been published, anthologized and broadcast by CBC radio. My biography of Allen and Sharie Farrell, SALT ON THE WIND, has done very well as a regional publication. My short fiction and poetry have appeared online, most recently in the Island Review and Landwash, and I was once runner up to the grand prize winner in the Bulwer-Lytton Competition for the second worst opening sentence written in the English language that year!
FICTION PROJECTS completed or approaching completion include the futuristic adventure novel, A FIRE ON THE SEA now available in a deluxe paperback edition, HORIZONTAL RAIN a magical realist novel set on the North Coast of BC and FLOATER, about a teenager who builds a floating island and moves to the North Pacific Garbage Zone to harvest the tons of plastic that are floating in the sea. I am also developing a screenplay as a graphic novel about an alien child, rescued by a female starship soldier who is brought back to Earth, following the destruction of his world.
NON-FICTION WORK includes TANGLECOVE: 30 NEW CANADIAN FIDDLE TUNES, POUCH COVE: OUR HOME BY THE SEA and a new garden book, Sun, Seed & Soil: Tips and Techniques from a Northern Garden to be published by Boulder Publications in May, 2023.
MUSIC: Over the years I have released a dozen albums of original music, as a solo artist and with friends. For my most recent work as a composer, performer and recording artist, visit the webpages for the two groups with which I now perform: Tanglecove and Atlantic Union. Between the two, six albums of original music have been released since 2005, supported by a Music NL nomination and two national tours by the duo Tanglecove.
PAST PROJECTS and PUBLICATIONS
1964-68 BS in biology, minor in music, Reed College, Portland, Oregon. Completed research thesis on marine commensalism. Directed 12-episode radio play of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, for KRRC-FM radio, Portland.
1970-71 Consulting ecologist for the Dewdney-Allouette District and the Greater Vancouver Regional District, co-author of An Ecological Review
of Our Southwestern Shores.
1972-73 Founding editor of the British Columbia Access Catalogue, a local best-selling compendium of resources for independent learning and living in BC.
1973-74 Student in education at Simon Fraser University. Collaborated with New Zealand author and educator Sylvia Ashton Warner and published her book O Children of the World. . . .
1974-76 Homesteaded on Lasqueti Island and performed with The Spaghetti Island Stringband.
1976-79 Moved to Vancouver to perform and record with the folk & world music quartet Flying Mountain. During a two-and-a-half year period, we performed 300 concerts and released two LPs of original music.
1980 Recorded and released solo album of original songs, Solitudes: The Westcoast Music of Dan Rubin.
1981-1986 Moved back to Lasqueti Island and worked as a teacher in the island school. Published an island newsletter, The Lasqueti Gumboot and developed innovative learner-centred educational programs.
1986-89 Completed master's degree in curriculum
at the University of Victoria. Graduate thesis in education, From the Inside Out, a case study in educational change, was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Developed The Panorama Program an integrated core curriculum for students in Grades 8/9.
1989-1991 Travelled in the South Pacific then returned to Victoria to work as Coordinator of School Programs at the Royal BC Museum. Coordinated Orca Day a one-day event that drew 7000 people to the museum.
1991-92 Curriculum Consultant to the BC Ministry of Education; worked with Salish elders to develop a Quw'utsun Syuw'entst Cultural Curriculum for the Cowichan Tribes. With world music trio New Earth, recorded New Earth: World Music from Canada's West Coast, and performed at Expo 92 in Seville, Spain.
1992-96 Wrote Salt on the Wind: the Sailing Life of Allen and Sharie Farrell which was published in 1996 by Horsdal and Schubart. Two sailing gatherings in 1992 and 1993 honoured these boatbuilders and sailors.
1996-1998 Sm'algyax Language Curriculum Developer in BC School District 52, Prince Rupert, BC. Developed language programs, wrote and directed original plays and coordinated speakers.
1998-2002 Principal of False Bay School, Lasqueti Island. Founded island internet society, developed an on-island secondary program based on internet courses and community mentorships. Received an Award for Teaching Excellence from Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
2003-2017 Retired from education and moved to Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. Founded Second Stage Creative Arts. Performed original music with Atlantic Union and Tanglecove. Founding Chair of the Pouch Cove Heritage Society. Lead author/editor of a local history Pouch Cove: Our Home by the Sea. First novel, A Fire on the Sea published by First Person Press
2019-2023 Founder and Chairperson, Food Producers Forum, a provincial non-profit supporting community- based food production and food security. Board Member, Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice. Fifth book, Sun, Seed & Soil: Tips and Techniques from a Northern Garden published by Boulder Publications.