I decided early on that I wanted to earn my living “with words and books.” And with hard work and a lot of trial and error, I have done just that. I took the usual detour that many aspiring writers take: I became a teacher of literature, by way of an AB (Phi Beta Kappa) degree and an MA from the University of Georgia. These were followed by a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. With this background, plus Fulbright and Ford Foundation Fellowships, I began teaching comparative literature and French literature in the University of North Carolina system. I published the expected scholarly articles in many an obscure journal, but soon discovered that I was far more interested in the writing than anything else. I branched out. I began sending out queries and sold my first article, “How to Teach about Poetry” to a magazine called Teacher’s Scholastic. Not long thereafter, the University of Georgia Press published my first book, Mallarmé and the Language of Mysticism. Then, in a great stroke of luck (but luck that came about because I was a relentless sender-out of queries) I sold an over-the-transom article to Esquire magazine that managed to be featured on the front cover. With that clip to send out, I was a made man in the freelance business. But like an actor who itches to try directing, I wanted to try my hand at editing and publishing my own books periodicals. In 1979 I resigned my tenured, full professorship, to buy a weekly newspaper, of which I was editor and publisher. I started and published many magazines, including Tar Heel: The Magazine of North Carolina (a statewide magazine), The New East Magazine, NCEast Magazine (regional magazines) and Washington Magazine (a city magazine). I published Welcome to Wilmington, a newcomer guide, and the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Guide. I wrote extensively for my own magazines, dealing with free-lancers from the other side of the editorial desk. I know what free-lancers need to learn about querying magazines and writing saleable articles because, in my role as editor, I saw so many people doing it wrong. I started Venture Press, my book publishing company, to self-publish my own books. This worked well. Titles such as Kitchen Table Publisher and How to Publish Your Poetry became Writers Digest Book Club selections. Other books followed over the net few years. In order to support myself in the delightfully civilized style to which I have become accustomed, I still write, publish and sell my books. But mainly I “gladly learn and gladly teach” (as Chaucer said of his clerk of Oxenford). Fellow writer, I am glad to know you, and I wish for you every success.