Randal A. Burd, Jr. has been writing poetry for publication since middle school, when a silly poem he wrote in the fifth grade (1989), “I Have a Hippoturtlephant,” was published by Creative Kids magazine. He had several poems published in the late 90s in anthologies produced by Robin & Carl Heffley’s Armadillo Poetry Press and in publications such as their quarterly magazine The Candlelight Poetry Journal. His work also received some international exposure in publications such as Tickled by Thunder out of Canada. In 2008, he self-published his first collection of poetry, Leaving Home, through Aardvark Global Publishing, LLC. A Pushcart Prize nominee for his poem, “Humblest Apologies,” from his 2nd poetry collection, Memoirs of a Witness Tree (Kelsay Books, 2020), Randal has published poetry in numerous literary journals, both online and in print, and received awards, including a cash prize in the 2019 Friends of Falun Gong poetry contest. He is currently the editor of the online poetry journal Sparks of Calliope. Randal holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Missouri University of Science & Technology where he was Editor-in-Chief of both the college newspaper and the literary magazine for multiple terms. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in Curriculum & Instruction. Randal is a Past Commander of the Department of Missouri, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in 2013. He is a married father of two and educator working in rural Missouri with both at-risk youth who live in a residential treatment facility and adults returning to school to get their high school equivalency diploma. The poetry of Randal A. Burd, Jr. published by The Society of Classical Poets can be found here.