Chris Coulson's first novel was Nothing Normal in Cork,The Midwest Hotel was his first collection of poetry, followed by Go with the Floe and A Bottomless Cup of Midnight Oil , all in his new and ongoing "Free perVerse" genre. Out of the smoky haze of this production frenzy now comes another novel, Red Jumbo, and his first children's book — Babies on the Run! — is coming down from the mountain soon, sometime in the future.
And then, whatever comes next. Who knows what, but it's coming.
Chris Coulson had a lot of jobs before writing these books; golf caddy at 13, bartender (older than 13), dishwasher, busboy, waiter, hospital orderly, morgue attendant and obituary reporter (simultaneously, had them coming and going!), newspaper reporter, newspaper editor, a Kansas City art magazine columnist and editor-in-chief, Cadillac salesman for three months (sold one used Chevrolet), worker in a cake decorating machine factory, movie set painter (first job, for the film Kansas City, directed by the late and great Robert Altman) and set dresser, art department leadman, film actor and star of In the Land of Milk and Money, which toured worldwide film festivals just after the turn of the century.
But he's always carried a 50¢ Bic Pen in his pocket. He's always writing. He even writes in his sleep. Interesting sheets.
On the scholastic front, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City; a double major, political science and english literature. That double major didn't necessarily represent a career direction, there never necessarily was one, but it does represent his interests at the time. Plus whatever credit hours piled up at the end. Plus, let's get the hell out of here!
Other activities informing and enriching Coulson's writing include a half-year homeless adventure
in Boston in 1984-85, and some light jail time here and there (nothing violent or arrogant, only to do with spirit, or spirits), including the night of a spectacular (comical to the police officers on-scene) drunken car crash and splash into the Meyers Circle Fountain, inside a traffic rotary along an elegant parkway in Kansas City. At the time, Coulson knew these experiences would somehow feed the sensitivity not to mention the oeuvre.
Coulson has lived in London, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Wyoming (The Hotel Townsend in Casper), Boston, Los Angeles, and is now in Durham, North Carolina. Why? Because Durham is green (tall pines), blue (progressive), also Black, Brown and Yellow (internationally diverse, not the usual midwestern milk.)
And yet, like Red Jumbo, Chris Coulson is always ready to leave town.