Bill Birns has lived and worked in the Catskills for over 40 years. A retired schoolteacher, Bill taught a couple generations of Catskill Mountain kids, both at Margaretville Central School and Onteora High School. A graduate of Union College, Bill holds a Ph.D. in English (Rhetoric and Linguistics) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His 1986 dissertation is a study of the dialect of the Catskills.
From 2007 through 2012, Bill wrote “A Catskill Catalog,” a column on mountain history, geography, day-trips, arts & culture, published weekly in the Catskill Mountain News. Eighty-three of those 245 essays appear in Bill’s first book, A Catskill Catalog (Purple Mountain Press, 2011). His second book, The Myth in the Mountain (Mountain Arts Media, 2013) is a poetic mix of the actual and the imagined set in Delaware County’s New Kingston Valley.
He and his wife, Gayla, share three grown sons and four grandchildren. They reside in Fleischmanns.