BioJake grew up (for the most part) in the mountains of Colorado. He began writing poetry as a kid, even when it wasn't cool to do so...and wonders if it still may not be. Being fairly type-b, but also a recovering perfectionist, he has only recently begun actually finishing poems and sharing them with other people. His passion for the western lifestyle was cultivated on his uncle's ranch in Northwest Arkansas. He began roping and rodeoing as a kid (indeed, that is a verb - for the uninitiated) and grew up doing rural and ranch work - often the less romantic tasks. Somewhere along the way, he encountered the work of cowboy poets Waddie Mitchell and Baxter Black, and fell in love with their art form. He's a self-proclaimed "word nerd" and has spent many hours driving and listening to vocabulary building CDs - sick, I know. He loves the power of the spoken word and the process of putting a story together with rhythm and rhyme, as well as performing his work live for an audience. While he is often billed as a "Contemporary Cowboy Poet" his work often ventures into the realms of philosophy and theology - about both of which he probably knows just enough to be dangerous. Jake became a Christian at 18, and while he doesn't force his beliefs on others, he loves an opportunity to share his story, or a number of poems concerning the Christian worldview, which compels him. Jake now lives near Kearney, NE with "the best wife on planet Earth" and an increasing number of energetic young children. What's with "the other"? Well, here's the rest of the story, or at least a part of it if you're interested. As a kid, Jake's family moved a lot. He says he never really felt like he belonged...anywhere, and has a hunch that he's not the only one. A longer story than space allows, but fast-forward to finding a domain name for his website...how about JakeRiley.com? Taken. Naturally. He chose "The other" to speak to the way that many of us feel in life - like we don't belong, and like we just can't seem to be the people we were created to be. The other side of "the other" speaks to his Christian faith. While he knows he's not the person he was created to be, he is no longer the person he once was.
allow myself to introduce...myself
The modern philosopher told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I still felt depressed, even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy like a bird in spring. -GK Chesterton