About (duplicate)

Poetry. Beauty. Everyday life.


I’m an editor, ghostwriter, writing coach, and award-winning narrative poet who especially likes to work with people doing memoir writing.

At age seven, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but lacked the confidence to begin writing seriously until my early 30s. And although I wanted to write poetry then, I didn’t develop the emotional openness to begin doing this until nearly two decades later. It’s been a long, difficult journey to learn to write deeply and honestly.

I know what it’s like to struggle to become a writer, and I would like to provide guidance and support to people who need help on this journey, just as I’ve been helped on mine by many others.

While writing poetry, I discovered that expressing the poetry and beauty of everyday life was my central message, and I especially want to work with writers who are interested in developing this perspective in memoir writing, as I love people’s stories.

I have published over 100 poems in various literary journals. My poetry chapbook Sunday Ritual, chronicling my vivid experiences working in bookstores, won first prize in Nerve Cowboy’s 2000 chapbook contest. I’ve published seven poetry books, including a limited edition letterpress chapbook; one short story collection; and numerous journalistic articles.

my portfolio

My mission is to help you express the poetry and beauty of your everyday life through writing. In other words, I'll help you see the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary moments of your life.  

When you make that your focus, you will feel more joy and aliveness, a deeper connection to yourself, other people, and to Spirit.

If you are someone who wants to discover such moments through a writing project of your own, I can help you--whether by: 

  • coaching you in writing a memoir or poem

  • editing a work you already have written

  • doing the writing for you (ghostwriting)

Your writing journey will be meaningful and resonant when you open to the poetry and beauty of everyday life. For me giving this kind of support, guidance, and encouragement is just as rewarding as doing my own writing.  

I feel blessed to be doing this work.

On a personal note ...

I live in Oakland, California with my wife, writer, artist, and book developer Naomi Rose; and stepson, Gabriel. I enjoy doing tai chi, being out in nature, and being silly sometimes.

 CONTACT me to get started on your next writing project. 



Please contact me for a complimentary phone consultation.

If you are in the Oakland area, we can even meet in-person.  

I look forward to hearing from you and exploring how I can help you with your writing project.


after a climate mobilization gathering ▸

A New Life front cover.JPG


to purchase my latest Book of poetry, Please click Here.

The 76 vivid poems in A New Life offer us a unique and compassionate view of what it is to be human. People on the fringe of society reveal their humanity and touch the poet's heart, as do ordinary people doing seemingly ordinary things, who's goodness could easily be overlooked except for the poet's discerning glance. A father spending hours looking for his young daughter's toy in "Professor of Patience" achieves a modest nobility, as does the family sloppily but joyfully playing Frisbee in the park in "Happiness." In this collection of poems, the old life becomes the new life through the poet's discovery of the mystery and wonder that lie just beneath the surface of our everyday lives.


I just wanted to tell you, Ralph, that I got into the School of the Arts for their spoken arts program. Thank you so much for your help with my poetry. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
— Talia Kishinevsky
Thank you again for the poem about my mom. One of my good friends, who has seen my pain and grief about my mother’s passing, read the poem at my wedding. She did such an amazing job; she gave life and meaning to every word. It was so beautiful and heartfelt. All my guests were deeply touched by the poem.
— Tamara Banda
Ralph did more than listen to my oral history. He sensed the thread of meaning in my story, and guided our discussion toward a deeper and more interesting reflection of my experience.
— Daniel Marlin, poet, artist, author of Isiah at the Wall and House of Ardor