datura blossom



About Me

My Writing Life, in part

My journalistic career started in the 7th grade, with the publication of an underground newspaper at Manning Jr. High School in Golden, Colorado—a performance repeated at Fort Collins (Colorado) High School, one of four high schools* that I attended. The FCHS underground paper actually made a profit.

After graduation from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, I worked mainly as a newspaper and magazine journalist, then returned to school at age 33 to earn a master's degree in religious studies at the University of Colorado.

My contribution to the field of Pagan Studies began when I was in graduate school, when I published the four issues of Iron Mountain: A Journal of Magical Religion. Most contributors were other grad students, although it was not a formally peer-reviewed academic journal.

In 1986, Iron Mountain was absorbed by Gnosis: A Journal of Western Inner Tradition, which was published by Jay Kinney for the next 14 years. Jay made me a "contributing editor," thus beginning one of the most valuable associations of my life. Meanwhile, Carl Weschcke of Llewellyn Publications approached me in 1990 to edit a book series, which eventually became the four-volume Witchcraft Today series. These were "popular" books, but I did my best to keep them intellectually honest, unlike too many how-to Wiccan books.

In 1995, I attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion for only the second time. Selena Fox and Dennis Carpenter of Circle Sanctuary organized a meeting of attendees working with some facet of Pagan Studies (we were not yet calling it that) or some kind of nature religion. I organized another session the following year, but the current Nature Religions Scholars Network really came together in 1997 in San Francisco. I kept the web site and the e-mail list running and organized our meetings through 2002.

From 1988-1992 I taught writing part-time at Pueblo Community College, then joined the faculty of Colorado State University-Pueblo, where I am co-director of writing.

Meanwhile, Fritz Muntean and Diana Tracy had started The Pomegranate (originally subtitled A New Journal of Neopagan Thought) in 1997. I contributed some articles--see the table of contents on the old web site--and joined the staff in 2001, by which time it was The Journal of Pagan Studies.

In 2003, The Pomegranate, now The International Journal of Pagan Studies was picked up by Equinox Publishing in London, and I am privileged to serve as its editor.

Other current projects include editing a Pagan Studies book series for AltaMira Press while trying to finish my own historical study of American Paganism.

Graham Harvey of The Open University in England and edited  an anthology of Pagan writing for Routledge, The Paganism Reader.

I live in southern Colorado, on the other side of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range from my birthplace.

~Chas S. Clifton
October 2003




*The others were DeCarteret College (Jamaica), St. Andrew's School, and Clayton H.S.--all in one chaotic year! Back to top.

My publishers, past and present

Little London Press
Llewellyn Publications
AltaMira Press

Non-literary projects:

Working on "Moon Unit," a 1973 Jeep CJ-5

Getting to know some of the Solanaceae.