In 2003, after an adolescence spent skating, rock climbing, and dabbling in graffiti, Darren moved to Logan, Utah to attend Utah State University. Thanks to the mentorship of people like Chris Cokinos, Jennifer Sinor, and Star Coulbrooke, his time in Logan enabled him to focus his somewhat chaotic creative energy into a form that could be mistaken for something artistic. He began submitting his poetry and essays to literary journals and, on occasion, getting them published. Thanks to a performance by visiting poet Anis Mojgani, he worked up the courage to try his poetry out on stage and began driving down to Salt Lake City to compete in local poety slams (he would eventually become a member of two National Poetry Slam teams, the 2014 Southern Utah Grand Slam champion, and would spend two years serving as Southern Utah’s Slam Master). During his time at USU he also had the great privilege of working as an editorial assistant at Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing and as an editor/designer for the Helicon West Broadside Series.
As with most college students, he spent much of his time winding through an endless string of interesting but ultimately unfulfilling jobs. Server, janitor, carpet cleaner, youth counselor for at risk teens, he even did a stint at the local miniature golf course. After graduating from USU, he spent seven years as a university English lecturer. While he loved being in the classroom and working one on one with students, he found the logistics of teaching in our current education system drained all of the enjoyment out of the job.
Always looking to live (and work) in ways that are truer to the music inside of him, music he pictures an old man in a hat yelling at him to turn down, he took the risk of going into business for himself. Along with his amazingly talented wife Niki, he founded The Creative, a for-profit magazine dedicated to supporting the creative arts community in Southern Utah. While the endeavor was ultimately doomed, he has few success which make him as proud as that failure. Currently, Darren works as the managing editor at The Independent. While he has cut back the number of performances he commits to, he still gets up on stage a handful of times each year. He also gets his teaching fix by doing creative writing workshops with various community organizations and universities. In addition, he is currently serving as the co-chair for The St. George Book Festival.