Dimitri Keriotis grew up in California’s Central Valley listening to his elders tell stories around the dinner table, some of which he, his sister, and cousins tirelessly heard countless times over many years. He worked in his family’s liquor store, later at a neighborhood tennis club, and in local agriculture—harvesting peaches, irrigating and pruning almond trees.
He studied American Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Leading up to graduation, he assumed he’d just go to graduate school, until a career counselor helped him realize that his choice was merely by default because he was scared to go out into the world. He ended up moving to Greece to teach ESL, spend time with distant relatives, and elude the Greek government from drafting him.
He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer first in Zaire (todays’ Democratic Republic of the Congo), where he worked with women’s farming groups and men’s gardening groups, until military insurrection resulted in an overnight emergency evacuation. Following some time in New Zealand, where he worked as a farrier’s assistant, stable hand, curbside recycling collector, and dish washer, he returned to the Peace Corps, this time serving in Bolivia, where he had little success introducing agricultural practices to a band of hunters and gatherers.
Dimitri studied Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno to earn an MA. While teaching part-time at Lake Tahoe Community College, he co-founded and co-directed the Tahoe Wilderness Institute. For many years he taught English full-time at Modesto Junior College, where he co-founded and co-coordinated the High Sierra Institute. When his career interests shifted, he earned an MA in Educational Counseling from CSU Stanislaus and became a college counselor, still at Modesto Junior College, where he now teaches English part-time.
He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Chico. His short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Beloit Fiction Journal, Georgetown Review, Flyway, BorderSenses, and elsewhere, and he has written for Poets & Writers. In fall 2014, SFA Press will release his debut collection of short stories, The Quiet Time.
He and his family live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.