I have worn a variety of hats at various times in my life. These have included:
- after-school art instructor
- substitute teacher
- tour guide at a film studio
- student at Oxford
- youth literacy program director at a juvenile court
- sales person in a rock shop
- story reader at an elder-care facility
- university professor
I live near a wood and a river. I am a father, a husband, a son, a brother. I love the land. I am a lore hoarder. I work in a room surrounded by thousands of books on myth, legend, natural history, and all manner of eldritch and very excellent subjects. My library is also home to more than a few curious relics...just there: a flint axe, a carnelian oracular head in the likeness of Charles II, a Roman gaming piece, a parchment map, a clay deity of indeterminate pantheon, and many, many, stones. So I keep old things close about me, letting them inform my work. As I write I am always picking up some ancient curio, turning it over in my hands, welcoming, again and again, the past into the present.
The more formal Who/What/Where:
Ari Berk is an award-winning writer, folklorist, artist, and scholar of literature, iconography, and comparative myth. Deeply dedicated to interdisciplinary writing, teaching, and research, Dr. Berk holds degrees in Ancient History (B.A.), American Indian Studies (M.A.), and Comparative Literature and Culture (Ph.D.). The former student of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer N. Scott Momaday, he has studied at Oxford and traveled widely, making friends in many parts of the world.
As Professor of Folklore and Mythology at Central Michigan University, he teaches courses in those areas as well as American Indian studies, and medieval literature. He is the former editor of the Realms of Fantasy magazine's Folkroots section. Dr. Berk also sits on the board of directors of the Mythic Imagination Institute.
Ari is the author of numerous books for children and adults. His latest books are Lych Way, Mistle Child, and Death Watch, The Life and Times of William Shakespeare (with Kristen McDermott), The Secret History of Hobgoblins, The Secret History of Giants, The Secret History of Mermaids, How to Be a Viking, and Coyote Speaks -- Wonders of the Native American World (with Carolyn Dunn). He is also the author of The Runes of Elfland, Goblins! and Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Letters (all three with internationally known artist Brian Froud). His work has been translated into numerous languages.
Born and raised in California, Ari now lives in Michigan with his wife and son. He has passed three times through a holed stone.