Leonard Durso

I am a native New Yorker who was talked into going to school in Ohio by my supposedly best friend and ended up staying there long enough to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Bowling Green University. I drifted out to Los Angeles because my ex-wife was intent on becoming a movie star.  Having no better way to squander my money, I opened up a literary bookstore with two friends from the MFA program called Intellectuals & Liars in Santa Monica and became part of the poetry scene there.  I had a few short stories and an excerpt from an earlier novel published in some small literary magazines, held weekly poetry/prose readings, published broadsides, and, being no exception to the rule that poetry doesn’t sell, went out of business.  This led to a series of jobs like selling shoes, running a warehouse, writing advertising copy for radio, and, after completing a second MA in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), began teaching English to immigrants.  Since my main concern was keeping a roof over my head and the wolves from the door while I continued to

write, I took a job as a full-time tenured faculty member at a college.  Eventually, not being satisfied with just teaching, I created an English Language Institute and went over to the dark side and joined the administration so I could run it.  I then became the Director of the Language Center at one college and the Director of the English as a Second Language Program at another college.  Finding myself enamored with the idea of living overseas, I took a job in 2008-09 as the Director of the English Preparatory Program at a two year vocational college in Beykoz, Istanbul.  2009 found me bouncing back and forth between New York and Istanbul but, as of May, 2010, I eventually settled in Istanbul to be the director of the English program at Plato College of Higher Education for four years, then moved to Izmir to coach managers at a petrol/chemical company. Now my work is to read, write, and travel. And once, in a city far, far away, I was a scoutmaster, which means I’m pretty good at tying knots, building campfires, and am also loyal, trustworthy, helpful, etc.

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