The looks a lot like the yellow bus we rode to school in my youth. I loved the vehicle, but could hardly ignore the stench of the oily black smoke that spewed from the tail pipe as we rolled down the streets. On the plus side, the old bus had a lot of heart. It kept on rolling. We rarely felt uncomfortable on the hard, cracked-leather bench seats.
Here's the story ...
More years ago than I want to remember, I decided that to tell tales in many forms would be a part of whatever I chose to do in life. That desire prompted me toward careers as a journalist, raconteur, author, educator, and blogger. The urge continues to fuel my interests in business.
The first creative piece I crafted was a rhyme about the rickety bus I rode to school during my eighth grade year. I don't remember the words to the yarn. I can only recall the giggles, guffaws and rolls of laughter that rained from my classmates back in Youngstown, Ohio. The teacher was not too happy, because the uproar over that poem made us a little too rowdy after recess. That was the first time I witnessed the beauty and power of a good story. I have pursued the art and craft of storytelling ever since. The topic has always been a related to my teaching.
I have taught everything from second grade to graduate students at more than a dozen schools,throughout the past four decades.Now, in retirement from a professorship at the Rochester Institute of Technology, I teach writing every now and then, and use the same skills on occasion in VGwrites, a writing, editing and proofreading business.Also, as this site proves, I still have literary aspirations.
In past, I wrote poetry, fiction and nonfiction in a variety of publications and media. I continue to pursue a wide range of activities in the creation of literature and research, in the classroom and beyond.
From that very simple start in Youngstown, my interests broadened, and so the plan that arose from them in my dreams became bold. The goal remains to have at least one solid book in poetry, fiction and nonfiction before I die. Somewhere after teaching for a few years, I decided that the surest path to that goal was through journalism. After all, Ernest Hemingway, did it, too.
That career began as a Washington, D.C. correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter, an international newsweekly in 1980. For nearly twenty years, I worked for several daily newspapers and wire services as reporter and editor. My last full-time job was with the Syracuse Newspapers. While working in the media and learning the writing craft, that career broadened when I became a columnist nationally syndicated on the Newhouse News Service. From 1987 to 1995, the weekly commentary on religion in public life appeared in more than 150 newspapers from Juneau, Alaska to Miami, Florida. Meanwhile, my articles were also occasionally published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Living magazine, and Christianity Today.
Even now, I continue as the managing editor of about...time Magazine, a national chronicle on the African American experience based in Rochester, New York.Journalism offered a unique opportunity to learn to tell the stories of everyday people. I loved it, because from those tales of individuals often overlooked comes what we often do not realize as history. My interest and continued pursuit of a greater meaning in or behind of each narrative that I recorded brought me back to my childhood fascination with the human story. When I write articles or books, fiction, nonfiction or poetry, I always look for a greater truth.
My poems have been featured in "Take Two, They're Small," an anthology on food, and literary journals such as Bridges, Drylongso, Fyah, Ishmael Reed’s Konch Magazine, Mental Satin, the Southern Poetry Review and the Pinnacle Hill ReviewBeyond that my time is devoted to writing, research and the classroom. My latest book,10 Stories Down, published by Foothills Press is a poetry collection inspired by several six-month stays in Beijing, China's capital. In March 2006, the publisher also released , Like a Dry Land: A Soul’s Journey through the Middle East, drawn from a trip throughout the country of Jordan.
In May 2007, I edited and published Tales from a Summer, an anthology of nonfiction by Rochester area high school students. Also, When Pluto Was A Planet: The Golphin Chronicles, an anthology of short stories by RIT students. My other books include Life and Other Things I Know: Poems, Essays and Short Stories, African American Children's Stories: A Treasury of Tradition and Pride,and two primers in Publication International’s My First Treasury series, Grandma Loves You and African American Stories.
Well, the dream continues. This website exists to display the fruits of my continuous pursuit of the art and craft of storytelling. I hope you will look in from time to time to find out the other works that are available.
vincent f. a. golphin