Thor Polson: A Short Biography

It is not as if an individual’s life is fully defined by what he does for a living, but in Thor’s case his professional activities and personal interests (languages, music, and practically any form of human expression, including writing) have overlapped almost entirely. What follows is a short curriculum vitae:

1957: Birth in Kansas City, Missouri

1965-67: Residence with family in Ernakulam, India

1967-73: Return to Kansas City

1973-75: Residence with family in Stavanger, Norway

1975-80: Undergraduate studies in music and English literature at Grinnell College in Iowa

1980-81: Wanderjahr (odd jobs throughout the United States)

1981-84: M. A. program in Latin at the University of Illinois in Urbana

1984-85: Wanderjahr (intensive Norwegian course at the University of Oslo and residence in Iowa City, Iowa; intensive reading period)

1985-86: Fulbright teaching assistantship at the Bundesgymnasium in Tulln, Austria

1986-89: M. A. program in Ancient Greek at the University of Missouri in Columbia

1989-92: Latin and Greek position at Thomas Jefferson School in Saint Louis, Missouri

1991: Six-week archaeology program at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens

1992-93: M. A. program in German at the Middlebury College campi in Middlebury, Vermont and Mainz, Germany

1993-94: Wanderjahr (residence and reading period in Coralville, Iowa)

1994-95: Latin and ancient-history position at the Key School in Annapolis, Maryland

1995-96: Wanderjahr (residence and reading period in Minneapolis, Minnesota)

1996-98: M. Phil. program in Ancient Greek at the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland

1998: Successful completion of the Goethe Institute’s Prüfung zum Großen Deutschen Sprachdiplom in Vienna

1998-99: Short-term residence in Tulln, Austria; classics positions at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota

2000-01: German and Latin position at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon

2001-02: Latin position at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota

2002-09: Piano-teaching position at the Music Studios of Jan Erickson in Minneapolis, Minnesota

2003-05: Latin position at St. Paul Academy

2005-07: Adjunct Latin and Greek position at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota

2007: Publication of Childsong by Athena Press of London

2007-10: Work as a professional musician in the Twin Cities; recording productions: Potion of Solitude (with Eric Solberg), Nancy Harms Trio (with Nancy Harms and Eric Solberg), and First Time Out (with Urban Cadence)

2010-17: Classical-piano studies with Alexander Tutunov at Southern Oregon University in Ashland; piano-teaching position at Piano Studios & Showcase in Medford; German and Latin position at St. Mary’s School in Medford

2011: Release of the album Northern Lights

2014: Franz Kafka: A Hunger Artist & Other Short Stories published by Guernica Editions of Toronto (link); named one of Oregon’s outstanding German teachers by the OATG

2017-18: Wanderjahr (residence, reading, and “woodshedding” periods in Ashland, Oregon and Kansas City, Missouri)

2019: Continued residence in Kansas City; solo-piano jazz concerts in Tulln, Austria and in Oldenburg, Germany

2019– : Free-lance musician, piano teacher, and language tutor in Ashland, Oregon; continuation of the Janus Jazz Concert Series (conceived in 2014)

2020: Release of the album The Portal

2021: Recording project in Kansas City