Like all of us seasoned citizens, I expect, I’ve had a number of what Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and others call “false selves.” In high school, I was—and remain so to those classmates 50 years later—Ricky. For reasons I’m too embarrassed to talk about, I was “Froggie” during my two years fighting forest fires in Idaho. For thirty years, I was “Mr. Wile” (aka. “Wiley Coyote”), high school English Teacher. For another fifteen years, I was Rick, the college adjunct and writing tutor. Then I stayed Rick and got an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writing Program. I’ve been Honey and You Bastard and I’ve been Dad. These days I’m called Grampa by John, Anastasia, Beatrix and Ada.
Writing as Richard Wile, I’ve published essays in numerous magazines and journals, including Sojourners, the Christian Century, Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, Under the Sun, and Relief: A Christian Literary Expression. My book reviews have appeared in Fourth Genre and Prairie Schooner. My novel, Requiem in Stones, was published in 2016, and my latest collection of memoirs, The Geriatric Pilgrim: Tales from the Journey in 2022, both by Maine Authors Publishing Cooperative.
In the meantime, I play clawhammer banjo in old-time jam sessions.