|Mitch Rayes was born breech in Detroit, 1958. First of six children to a former Irish nun and a
By the age of eight his stated ambition was to become "a bum". A year after that he was chastised
(parochial school) for walking out of church and across a parking lot on his knees.
He attended Wayne State University in Detroit as a Merit Scholar, and Naropa Institute in Boulder
before the school was accredited (1977), never graduating.
He has traveled over much of the continent, by thumb, foot, car, bus, and train, from northern Ontario
to Colombia, coast to coast. He once walked (with poet Lisa Gill) from the ruined pueblo of Paa-ko
NM to the shrine at Chimayo, a distance of eighty miles, most of it in a pair of shoes he found along the
way in a dumpster.
Mitch spent many years in Mexico, working as a guide and outfitter specializing in remote areas of
Chiapas. His mountain cabin near San Cristobal was seized by armed indigenous rebels in 1994.
During the 1990's, he was influential in the developing Albuquerque poetry scene as a founder of the
poetry non-profit Flaming Tongues, as editor of the Tongue newsletter, and as producer of several
Albuquerque Poetry Festivals.
Distinguished in many fields: poet, translator, musician, sound engineer, arts organizer, outfitter, and
Married Dona Sinkevicius at the bottom of a sinkhole in the summer of 1982. They are the proud
parents of two incredible adult children, Nick and Sirena.