Books: I’m that guy in the crowd whose face lights up when he hears “Walt Whitman” or “Macbeth” or even “the Oxford comma.”
I wanted to be a geneticist until I flunked organic chem. I still love science though. The Periodic Table is just smack-the-forehead genius to me.
Poetry: I fell in love with poetry thanks to my High School English teacher, Elizabeth McClure. She taught Shakespeare and Sonnets with passion and creativity.
A list of favorite poets would be long indeed, but would include Shakespeare, Mary Oliver, Anna Kamienska, and Rumi.
Faith: I am an Episcopalian, but Coach put me into the game late. Baptized in 1995 (at age 35), I have regularly attended only one church my whole life: The Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, NC, which I love with all my heart.
Food: I put myself through school working in kitchens, so I love to cook, and I never met a recipe I couldn’t improve. This means I rarely serve the same dish the same way twice. My family has gotten used to this. My favorite holiday is Christmas because, among other things, I get to cook. Thanksgiving I like as well. Halloween? Bah.
Random Facts: Born in Maine (I miss lobster, but not snow. I am a kindred spirit to anyone who instantly recognizes the name “Joshua Chamberlain”), but in the South now, so cheerfully adopting bow ties, pulled pork, and Alton Brown . . . but not sweet tea. Erk.
Two guaranteed conversation starters in North Carolina: “I really dislike sweet tea” and “I am a transplanted New England Patriots fan.”
Speaking of sports, I root for UNC basketball. My wife is a Duke fan. My daughter is a UNC fan, but my son pulls for Duke. This works out better than you might think and has taught us all to be gracious in victory. What goes around comes around.
Between 1976 and 1982 I directed or performed in nine musicals, if you let me count Annie Get Your Gun twice. I could sing falsetto in college (glory days!). I directed Macbeth while teaching at Duke, and that remains one of the great experiences of my life.
This site is called “The Heron Rises,” because every day is a good day when you are fighting cancer. Keep your eyes looking up.
Why faith? Because faith embodies hope when most everything around us seems hopeless.
Why poetry? Because every poem, regardless of subject, is an expression of hope.
Thanks for reading, everyone; come back soon.
Dave Worster earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1999. For over twenty years he taught Shakespeare, poetry, and dramatic literature in great places like UMASS/Boston, UNC, Duke, and Durham Academy. He is currently a freelance writer living with his family in Chapel Hill.