Who am I?

Existential drama aside, I’m just this guy, ya know? (The same has been said of Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox, but the similarities end there, what with me having 50% fewer heads and 33% fewer arms and 100% less being Galactic President.)

I grew up in San Jose, but moved away after college (SJSU ’92); the Northern California not-quite-San-Francisco vibe persists, though, even in Texas.

Chris Mikesell


Academy of American Poets

Association of Literary Scholars,
Critics, and Writers

The Infinite Escape Room Podcast
(via Patreon)

The story of

Chris Mikesell

Native Californian, Texas transplant (after a sojourn in Oregon for a dozen-ish years; the dream of the 90s is alive in Portland).

Prior to my teaching career, I worked in magazine design for a variety of industry-focused publications (public relations, nursing, forestry products). I also spent time working as a cook, stay-at-home dad, and independent writer.

Teaching cut down my progress as a creative writer, but coming out of the quarantine year I began to hear my voice as a poet. Which has been nice.

Short story contest winner: The Fortunate Purgatory of Arthur MacArthur

Poetry contest winner: Transport

Short story editor’s choice: In Rl’yeh, Jesus Walks


Short Stories Published


Poems Published



Dec. 20: John Steinbeck dies in NYC at 5:30 pm. Six hours later I’m born in California. #MediaBlackout #ALIBI


I write my first short story in Physics class. “The Grave,” about a woman who reaches through the planet from China to Argentina. It gets an A. I pass Physics.


First short story, “God’s Creation Blog,” accepted and published by The Wittenburg Door. Three more satirical pieces will be published over the next three years.


First poem, “Transport,” entered into a contest sponsored by Dragons, Knights, and Angels Magazine. It wins third place. Yay!


During the summer of the Quarantine, I write my first poem in 15 years. The 32nd poem of the year is accepted for publication in December


it’s a loooong year and a lot of “thanks, but no” until second acceptance in (again) December.
August: First escape room activity designed for my classroom.


More acceptances (and not just in December). First “open mike” poetry reading in Tampa, Fla. Eight escape rooms (+2 variations) designed (I ❤ the 80s is favorite).


First programmed poetry reading (in March). Website officially launched … eventually.

Some Interesting Journal Covers

Coach’s Midnight Diner

100 Worlds

Carolina Muse 3.2