I met Russell Ragsdale on the Internet several years ago. He happened to be a Parisian at heart, and so we subsequently hooked up on one of his frequent visits to Paris and, beyond enjoying each other’s poems and poetry in general, we became true friends. The first time we met, at the terrace of a café downstairs, I was with my kids. The photos show how much the kids have grown between then and now, from kids into today’s young adults. I had not realised that I’d known Russell that long.
We have also been going to Spoken Word in Paris on Monday nights together. He’s a good reader and does not hassle the poem, but reads at regular, speaking pace, with confidence and with engagement. I will miss him when he goes back to Arizona. He has two books out and is also in all the right places on-line, sharing his poems and speaking about poetry. Do check him out.
Psychiatry Is An Option: Interview with Poet Russell Ragsdale by Leigh Hershkovich
Russell Ragsdale lived in the Republic of Kazakhstan from 1992-2015. Because he lived in the former lands of Russia so long, you will find his books on Amazon listed among the top 100 books of Russian poetry. He speaks Russian and English and stumbles about in French and Spanish. He is a contemporary poet and has been writing since the 1960’s when he attended Whittier High and then the University of Arizona. He taught English at KIMEP University for seven years and can’t seem to figure out he has retired. Before that he was an executive chef and a retail meat cutter. Now he often wanders the streets up in Montmartre where he is looking for an apartment (he considers himself a part-time Parisian). In his strange life he has acted, sung, written for a newspaper, been part of a TV show and taught. Still he is pretty much just an ordinary working guy that has been afflicted with wanderlust and a love for words! He currently has two books published: Book of Aliases and Fireflies and Dragon Scales. He may be contacted through his website, RussellHRagsdale.com.