An American author, poet, dramatist, and arts critic, he is best known for his 1993 poem-play, Hymn to the Chesapeake. His other works include Appalachian Moons (poem-play) and Crazy Horse in Heaven (novel).
He grew up mostly on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and attended the University of Richmond on an athletic scholarship.
He received his creative writing MFA from the University of Arkansas.
His first wife was Patricia Waddell. He later married Cherry Owens.
His paternal lineage can be traced back to William Bradford, a Plymouth Colony Governor and author of the Mayflower Compact.