J.D. Scrimgeour’s ancestor, Mary Town Estey, was put to death in Salem in 1692, having been found guilty of witchcraft. Nonetheless he feels safe in this city that has become his home. He attended public schools in Illinois and Connecticut, and then received a BA and MA from Columbia University, and an MFA (poetry) and PhD (American Literature) from Indiana University. At Indiana, he met his wife, Eileen FitzGerald, who currently works as an elementary school librarian in Lynn. They have two sons, Aidan and Guthrie, who both attended Salem public schools and graduated from Salem High School.
J.D. moved to the city to take a position at Salem State, where he has taught since 1996. He serves as the Coordinator of Creative Writing at the University, and is the author of five books, including Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In & Out of Class, which explores the issue of class and education. More on his writing can be found at http://jdscrimgeour.com.
He is the Chair of the Writing Committee at the Salem Athenaeum, the Co-Founder of the Salem Writers Group, and serves on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which has been held in Salem for the past seven years. He regularly gives writing workshops at area schools, and he was a coach in Salem Little League for decade.
He can be spotted occasionally on local tennis courts, lamenting the deterioration of his knees.