Thumbnail of a Life

Sign at the entrance to the Meischen family farmDavid Meischen was born and raised on a farm in the Dilworth community of Jim Wells County, Texas. With a masters degree in English, David taught high school English for twenty-seven years—four years at Ball High School in Galveston, eleven years at Elk Grove High School in California’s Central Valley, and twelve years at Johnston High School in Austin.

David has done editorial work with a major textbook publishing company. He was the Master Teacher in English for UTeach–Liberal Arts, the teacher preparation program in the College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas, Austin, 2002–2006.

In 2004 David and partner, now husband, Scott Wiggerman founded Dos Gatos Press, a nonprofit dedicated to the support of poets and poetry, especially in Texas, New Mexico, and the Southwest. Publisher of the Texas Poetry Calendar for thirteen years, Dos Gatos has also published Big Land Big Sky Big Hair: Best of the Texas Poetry Calendar (2008), as well as three collections by individual poets—Circumference of Light, poems by Bruce Noll (2016); Letting Myself In, poems by Anne McCrady (2013); and Redefining Beauty (2009)—now in its third printing—poems focusing on former Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton’s struggle with breast cancer. Among the proudest achievements of the Press are two remarkable books of poetry writing exercises: Wingbeats and Wingbeats II (2011 and 2014), co-edited by David and Scott. Finally, the Press has published three installments in Poetry of the American Southwest—Weaving the Terrain: 100-Word Southwestern Poems (2017), Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (2016), and Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku and Haiga (2013).

Old planter on the Meischen family farmDavid has been writing poetry and teaching the writing of poetry for thirty-five years. He has had poems in Assaracus, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, San Pedro River Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Talking Writing, and other journals, as well as Two Southwests (Virtual Artists Collective, 2008), which features poets from the Southwest of China and the United States. David has participated in four collaborative poetry and art shows—Ekphrasis: Sacred Stories of the Southwest (Phoenix, AZ, Obliq Art, 2014); Fragments: Poets and Artists of the South and Southwest (Memphis, TN, Harrington Brown Gallery, 2011); The Art in Fiber (Round Top, TX, Copper Shade Tree, 2011); and Threaded Lives: Poems from the Fiber World (Taos, NM, Rane Gallery, 2009) .

A passionate storyteller with a lifelong interest in narrative, David has finished a novel in stories, currently represented by a New York agent. He has short stories in Bellingham Review, Copper Nickel, Devil’s Lake, Dogwood, The Evansville Review, The Gettysburg Review, Limestone, Prime Number, Printer’s Devil Review, Salamander, Superstition Review, Talking Writing, and Valparaiso Fiction Review. David has an MFA in fiction writing from Texas State–San Marcos. He won the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript award in Mainstream Fiction (2011), the Talking Writing Prize for Short Fiction (2012), and the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters (2017). He has served as a juror for the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts; in the fall of 2015, he completed his second writing residency at Kimmel Harding Nelson.

Currently, David is working on a memoir. One chapter, “How to Shoot at Someone Who Outdrew You,” was selected for Pushcart Prize XLII: Best of the Small Presses 2018. Originally published in The Gettysburg Review, 29:3 (Autumn 2016), “How to Shoot” is available at Literary Hub—under an altered title. Another chapter from David’s memoir appears in Fashionably Late: Gay, Bi, and Trans Men Who Came Out Later in Life (Eldredge Books, 2016). A third chapter is forthcoming in Chautauqua.

David is the father of two sons. Karl, a music fanatic and a member of the band The Greening, lives in San Francisco. Jack, with a masters in English and a second masters in educational policy studies, is employed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As of June 1, 2012, Jack is married to Melissa Miller.

David and Scott have been together for twenty-one years. They married in Taos, NM, October 23, 2013. Residents of Austin, TX, until the spring of 2015, they make their home in Albuquerque, NM, where they divide their time between their own writing and the publishing ventures they’ve taken on together.