If you are wandering into my woods, you may want to know a bit about me. I’m a folklorist who studies folk belief, folk magic, holidays, festivals, play, and games among many other topics. I love folk tales and learning about the worldviews of others and seeing where folklore mixes with other aspects of our lives, such as popular culture (I highly recommend the book The Folkloresque by Michael Dylan Foster and Jeffrey A. Tolbert for a look at that particular topic).
I have written and published extensively, including authoring the best-selling book New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic (Llewellyn Worldwide 2021). I’ve also penned reviews for academic journals like the Journal of American Folklore, New Directions in Folklore, Western Folklore, the Journal of American Ethnic History, and Marvels & Tales. I have had articles published in Midwestern Folklore, the journal Contemporary Legends, and Children’s Folklore Review. I have also written for several non-academic outlets, including Witches & Pagans magazine, The Cauldron (UK magazine), and the Crooked Path Journal. I have published poetry and short fiction, as well, and self-published a book on the folklore of fortune-telling with playing cards called Fifty-four Devils.
I have taught courses in writing and composition at Penn State Harrisburg and Kutztown University, as well as classes in folklore, popular culture, American Studies, and speech communication. I received my doctorate from Penn State in 2018 for my dissertation work on the Philadelphia Parade of Spirits.
Additionally, I’ve also taught classes outside the academy, such as a multi-week online lectures series on folklore, mythology, and fairy tales for the Revels, Inc. group in Boston.
For nearly a decade, I have been the co-host of a podcast, New World Witchery, which explores North American folk magical traditions. I have also launched other podcasts in that time, and expanded my vocal performances to include narrating audiobooks for Audible.
As you explore the site and learn more about me, I hope you will see how much the world of words means to me, and share your own thoughts, stories, and experiences with me.