This site is mostly a meandering exploration of things I love: land, community, history, public space and architecture, permaculture and sustainability, social networks and social movements, health and wellbeing, critiques of neoliberalism and privatisation and the social and racial cleansing of our cities … along with thoughts about cities in general and how they are enmeshed in the fabric of a wilder world. An informal set of reflections to improve my research and theory, and a slightly embarrassed admission that I best assimilate information through writing about it and I often prefer that to television. I prefer writing to most things. You can see my fiction here.
It is also a collection of other things I love as they come along. Writing, wandering, getting out and finding the wilds on this island and elsewhere without driving, airships and more…
I was born in Taos, New Mexico and grew up in what my dad called the nautilus house. My parents built it brick by adobe brick in Tucson’s Sonoran desert. We lost it after years of fighting banks and lawsuits to keep it, and I won a big fat scholarship to an elite liberal college on the East Coast in the same year. This probably explains everything.
I’m now working as the UK Network Manager for the Soil Association and their Food For Life Get Togethers programme. I find the movement and community action around growing, sharing, distributing and the community cooking of food to be extraordiarily nourishing in every sense of the word.
I’ve alaso picked jojoba beans, made pizzas, catalogued Tucson’s historic road surveys, hand coloured and digitised maps, worked a keg, shelved book, sold underwear, stocked kitchen shelves nights at K-mart, used my K-mart savings to live in Guadalajara, Mexico for a while.
On the more serious side I worked with Central American refugees as a paralegal for the Central American Resource Center, became a community organizer and researcher for SAJE, where I reveled in popular education, uncovered slum housing empires, and helped create the Figueroa Corridor Community Land Trust – now TRUST South LA.
I edited the noir Switchblade imprint from PM Press with Gary Phillips for a shining period.
I did a PhD in Geography at the London School of Economics, now published as City of Segregation.
I blogged for the popular education website Dr. Pop, fought austerity in Brixton with Lambeth SOS, helped build St Katharine’s Precinct in Limehouse, WWOOFed briefly, worked as a reseacher and lecturer at the University of Salford, and formed part of the Radical Housing Journal collective.
I helped create a transformative organising training programme with NEON and am looking forward to its second year. I continue to work as an editor for the newly collectively run journal City. I’m also still writing fiction as well, and the world is golden when I find time for it.
I miss the desert.