Where to begin…. I was born and grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1961. I went to the University of Michigan and majored in Japanese language and history. After that, I spent a year studying Korean at Seoul National University. I then returned to Ann Arbor and received an M.A. in applied linguistics. I went back to Korea and taught ESL for seven years before going to Dublin to work on a Ph.D. in applied linguistics at Trinity College Dublin.
While working on my Ph.D., I was offered a tenured position teaching English at Ristumeikan University in Kyoto. I later taught at English and foreign language education at Kumamoto Gakuen University and Kyoto University. My last position in Japan was at Kagoshima University where I developed and taught in the new Korean language program. Teaching Korean took me to Seoul National University where I taught teacher development courses in Korean as a second language.
While I was living in Seoul, I became active in hanok (traditional Korean-style houses) preservation, particularly in the Seochon area of Seoul. I also lived in hanok for most of my time in Seoul, including a hanok in Seochon that I remodeled mixing traditional and contemporary styles. While exploring Seoul, I became interested in street photography and was invited to participate in group exhibitions. I held a solo exhibition in 2016 as part of the KG+ exhibition.
I returned to the U.S. in 2014 and am currently a writer and independent scholar based in Providence, Rhode Island. Since returning to the U.S., I have published five books in Korean and finishing the sixth. Toward the end of the 1990s, I began to write about Korean and Japanese art and culture but demands of university teaching made that difficult by the mid-2000s. Recently, I have returned to writing about Korean art and culture, both in English and Korean. I have previously written articles and columns in Korean for newspapers and magazines, including the Dong-A Ilbo, the JoongAng Ilbo, the Hankook Ilbo, Sisa Journal, and Next Daily. I currently write a monthly columns in Korean for the Hankyoreh and the Asia Business Daily as well as irregular columns for Pressian and a biweekly column in English for The Korea Herald.