Brief Bio

Updated November 20, 2022

Welcome to this Poet’s Website. And congratulations on becoming a stronger eco-activist, for doing something today for this Planet. Here we are, at this moment, all living on the Earth! How can we make it more sustainable? Love an animal, a plant, a pebble. They are speaking to us. How might we do better?

2022 remains the pivotal year for responding to the environmental crisis of climate change. Please help others whenever you can. Collaborate. Celebrate. Our lives are all about relationships, between ourselves and the Earth. I am happy to be here with you. Restore!!! Restore!!! The health of the Earth is everything.


Thank you for your continued purchases of my poetry volumes, books and chapbooks. I’m gratiful for your support. Nothing is better than a good reader! Each and every book well read does make a difference. And I do donate to environmental organizations, such as: Arbor Day, World Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, and Sierra Club.

LAKE, RIVER, MOUNTAIN, a recent eco-poetry volume, will be published as part of the Portage Poetry Series, University of Wisconsin, Cornerstone Press, in 2023.

“Sugar-Makers,” my first published sonnet, will be published by The Road Not Taken in their Fall issue 2022.

“The Marketplace, 1804,” a traditional verse poem from my work in pre-industrial American history, has just been published by Slant: A Journal of Poetry, University of Central Arkansas,

“Last Night,” inspired by the travelogues of Basho, has been published in Urthona Journal of Buddhism & the Arts, UK, No. 36, September, 2022.

“A Hawk and An Owl,” a poem also inspired by Basho, has been shown for a second time with the ekphrastic quilt crafted by Debbie Noonan. This time our work appeared at The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, Fredericksburg Expo Center, Fredericksburg, VA. September 29, 30, and October 1, 2022. It is always a pleasure working with The Guild and The Poetry Society of Virginia.

A written book review, supporting an eco-poetry volume, is being submitted to journals: “A Review: The Found Object Imagines a Life: New and Selected Poems by Mary Catherine Harper. Cornerstone Press, September 2022.” Please be on the lookout for this amazing book now available!!

An excerpt:

“The art of her New and Selected conjoins the personal and the professional, the individual with the communal. The musings of interior landscapes meld with the sharp outcrops of reality. These poems are from the Earth. At times, they seem a kin to gravity itself. Ardent. Necessary. Constant.” This book is useful and worthy.

MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL has been completed!!! All videos are now posted!!!

Use keywords: “YouTube, Earth Songs, Mark B. Hamilton, Lewis and Clark, Environment.” Given the chance, please subscribe. The channel now has 54 quick videos on paddling a kayak cross-country, and crossing the Rocky Mountains with a pack mule named Joe. It’s free and fun.


“Alleyways of Return” and “River Dubois” in Albatross, Summer 2022.

“Late Autumn” and “Two Antiques” in North of Oxford, online, August 15, 2022.

“Streetwise, Riverwise” in Blue Unicorn, Spring Issue, 2022.

“A Gathering” in The Lyric Magazine, Winter Issue, 2021-2022.

“A Hawk and an Owl” in the Colonial Piecemakers Quilt Guild Exhibit, co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of Virginia, Hampton, VA, February 24-27, 2022. Collaborative work with Debbie Noonan, quilter. Published in the collection, Quilted Poems, 2022.

“Work Days” in Plainsongs, Winter Issue, January 2022.

“The Missouri River Breaks” in Amethyst Review, AMETHYSTMAGAZINE.COM, online, November 20, 2021

And my recent poetry volume: OYO, The Beautiful River (Shanti Arts, 2020)–which strengthens and clarifies our awareness of the contemporary environmental crisis along the polluted Ohio River. Recommended by The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC), The Rocky Mountain Review, The Seattle Review, EcoLit Books, and MidAmerica, the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. To purchase, contact:  or direct to the

AND CONTACT ME ANYTIME:   Please scroll below for links to my books. I remain available for public readings and as a Visiting/Teaching Poet.

My poems have appeared widely in the US, and abroad. As a working poet, I consider myself an environmental neo-structuralist, working in diachronic forms to transform content, adapting from both the Eastern and Western traditions. It is my attempt to alter our cultural paradigm, to move the mountain even a little bit away from the anthropocentric towards an improved understanding of our place on this Earth.

RECENT REVIEWS of OYO, The Beautiful River:

Goss, Erica. “Review #57: OYO, The Beautiful River by Mark B. Hamilton (Shanti Arts, 2020).” Erica Goss’s Monthly Newsletter dedicated to poetry, reading, and literature, August 2, 2021.

Bem, Greg. “OYO by Mark B. Hamilton.” Rain Taxi (print), Summer Issue, 2021.


“The Art of Eco-Poetry: Strengthening the Dynamic in Response to Environmental Crisis,” a Presentation with Readings from OYO, The Beautiful River. ASLE Annual Conference: EMERGENCE/Y, EMERGENT ENVIRONMENTS: River Emergencies, July 26-August 6, 2021. This video presentation has been posted for public access on YouTube: Use title and keywords: “YouTube, Earth Songs, The Art of Eco-Poetry, Mark B. Hamilton, Lewis and Clark, Environment.”  Also accessible on the ASLE website:

“The Work Songs of the Voyageurs.” History Magazine. Illustrated by Sue Brownfield, with a new transcription by Marysy Harvey of Reuben Vallee’s original Folk Life recordings in the Quebecian patois. Edward Zapletal, publisher. Summer 2021: 54-59. NOTE: This, and the supporting research, has become part of the Folk Life Archives, U.S. Library of Congress.

YouTube Channel: The Environmental Along the Lewis and Clark Expedition Route using key words “YouTube, Earth Songs, Mark B. Hamilton, Lewis and Clark, and Environment” or

MY POETRY BOOKS: Scroll below for Links

OYO, The Beautiful River: an environmental narrative (Shanti Arts Publishing)  Nominated for the American Book Awards, and The Outdoor Book Awards.

100 Miles of Heat (Finishing Line Press) Excerpts from OYO, plus the long poem “An Oral History of the Mammoth in North America.”

Confronting the Basilisk (Ball State University Publications) Award winning poems.

Earth Songs (University of West Florida) Panhandler National Chapbook Award: Excerpts from Confronting the Basilisk, plus the long poem “Dancing with New Haven.”


Manaster, Jane. City Book Review, Sacramento, CA, December 23, 2020.

Grant, Frank. Hoots & Hollows, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, November 10, 2020.

Frick, Lauren. EcoLit Books, August 10, 2020.

Harper, Mary Catherine. “Where Poetry Meets Reality: A Review Essay.” MidAmerica, The Yearbook of The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. Vol. XLVII, 2020: 113-21.

Moser, Jeffery. “OYO, The Beautiful River, by Mark B. Hamilton,” The Rocky Mountain Review, The Journal of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Vol. 74, No. 2, Fall 2020: 128-30.

Taylor, Marilyn L., Judge’s Comments, “A Welcoming,” a poem from OYO, The Beautiful River, Third Wednesday Annual Contest, Honorable Mention, Spring 2020: 30.


“The Missouri River Breaks,” Amethyst Review, November 20, 2021. “Unwell” and “Still Very Unwell,” Sparks of Calliope, September 2021. “Captain Clark Is Very Sick,” Copperfield Review Quarterly, Summer 2021. “A Mouse in Camp,” 3rd Wednesday, Vol. XIV, No. 3, Summer 2021: 38. “Cold is Gray,” The Stillwater Review, Spring 2021: 26. “Ancient Mounds,” About Place Journal, May 2021. “Raw Moonlight,” Naugatuck River Review, Summer/Fall 2020, Issue 24:2. “When a River,” Stand Magazine, UK, Fall 2020, 18.3: 24. “A Levee Town,” Cider Press Review, Vol. 22, Is. 2, July 7, 2020: 4. “Potatoes, Brandy and Porter,” “Sick in Bright Light,” “A Truth,” “Chrome and Corners,” and “Through Time, the Joyous Ledges,” Weber–The Contemporary West, Spring/Summer 2020: 135-40. “Eglise d’Auvers,” The Ekphrastic Review, Online June 25, 2020. “A Hawk and an Owl,” “The Sacred,” and Fallen Leaves,” The Umbrella Factory: a literary magazine, Issue 42, May 2020: 16-17. “A Welcoming,” Third Wednesday: Annual Contest, Honorable Mention, Spring 2020: 30.

ABOUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL: It has been completed!!! All videos are now posted!!!

“YouTube, Earth Songs, Mark B. Hamilton, Lewis and Clark, Environment”

The Environment along the Lewis and Clark Expedition return route–from the Pacific Ocean over the Rocky Mountains and downstream to St. Louis– while traveling by sea kayak and pack mule. This YouTube site presents my trek from March 2000 thru September 2000. Accessed by keywords or with the link:

Please subscribe if you can, and enjoy all these free educational, recreational, and informative outdoor environmental videos.


Mark B. Hamilton, as a scholar of Early American History, is perhaps the only living person to have traced the entire Lewis and Clark route, on their approximate time-table, traveling as they did by paddle and pack mule –a 3-year, 8,000-mile journey. His poetry focuses upon the environment, primarily along the entire Lewis and Clark Expedition route, including the Eastern Journals on the Ohio River, 1803-1806.  He earned the BA and MA in English & Comparative Literature with French Translation, at San Diego State University, and the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry, with extensive work in Literature, Education, American Studies, and Professional Editing at The University of Montana.

Mr. Hamilton has taught writing and literature at universities in the Midwest for twenty years.

His eco-poetry volume, OYO, The Beautiful River: an environmental narrative (Shanti Arts, 2020), is written from the first leg of his Lewis and Clark journey, down the 981-miles of the Ohio River. OYO presents a sequence of lyric narratives honoring the natural cosmologies of Native Nations in a quest for balance and valuation amid our polluted contemporary environment.

Selected comments:

“You have written beautifully … about a wonderful adventure.” –David Remnick, Editor, The New Yorker

“…a keen eye and a wise voice….a major text to American environmental literature and poetry.”  –Dr. Darlene Mathis-Eddy Professor Emeritus, Folklore and Literature

“…remarkably told in trenchant verse…a wail and a love-song….Of all the Lewisiana & Clarkian that flowed from their bicentennial…, this epic poem is the single most compelling….” –Robert Michael Pyle, author of Chasing Monarchs and Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place.

“Great poems.” –Fredrick Zydek, Publisher, Lone Willow Press

“…a stunning presence … connecting the reader to something undeniably spiritual.” –Marilyn L. Taylor, previous poet laureate of The State of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee

Mark B. Hamilton’s astonishing new full-length collection, OYO The Beautiful River, is a meditation on nature, the environment and humanity…. It is Hamilton’s deft skill that anchors the reader to each line throughout penetrating and wondrous landscapes.”–Leah Huete de Maines, Artist-in-Residence Emerita of Northern Kentucky University

Selected Honors:

Letter of Commendation from the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Al Gore; Recipient of the Matthew Hansen Endowment for Wilderness Studies; Honorary Writing Resident at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology; Literary Fellow at UCROSS; Honorary Visiting Research Faculty, Department of History, Portland State University; along with two Indiana State NEA awards for Visiting Artists, several community and academic environment developmental grants, professional teaching and mentoring awards, and other State and National awards for individual poems. Please see the Curriculum page for a complete listing.


OYO, The Beautiful River, an eco-poetry volume, Shanti Arts, 2020

100 Miles of Heat, a chapbook, Finishing Line Press, 2017.

100 Miles of Heat by Mark B. Hamilton

CONFRONTING THE BASILISK, poetry volume, Ball State University Publications, 1993, 2003.

EARTH SONGS, Chapbook Award, Panhandler Press, University of West Florida, 1993, 2003.