Alan Casline has been a poet, editor, and a small press publisher for 40 years. He has published a number of collections of poetry, and has broad interests including watershed wisdom, folklife, natural history, sustainability and local poetry. He is the editor of Normanskill, a watershed anthology from the Normanskill watershed in New York State, and is the editor of Rootdrinker, a longstanding magazine of watershed poetics, art and nonfiction. As Director of Rootdrinker Institute, his efforts include running open mics and special gatherings for poets, producing the RD Newsletterand using Benevolent Bird Press to publish the work of fellow writers and artists. He is co-founder and on-going chronicler of The Cloudburst Council, an annual poetics gathering held in the Finger Lakes watershed. He has planted thousands of trees on land he regularly visits in St. Lawrence County, New York. He lives with his wife, Jennifer Pearce, in a suburban neighborhood outside of Albany, New York.


Founder and Director Alan Casline

Rootdrinker Institute, a membership based organization, promotes rediscovery of the inspirations and creative visions of earlier artists and writers of each unique watershed.

Company Overview

Rootdrinker Institute encourages artists, musicians, writers, and crafters to use local images, lore, and legends. 

It promotes rediscovery of the inspirations and creative visions of earlier artists and writers of each unique watershed.

Rootdrinker advocates increased interest in nature, local history, and local traditions and through Benevolent Bird Press it continues to publish small press books that reflect these purposes.

At the center of Rootdrinker Institute’s philosophy is the vision of people defining the territory they call their own in terms of their local watershed. This focus allows the natural rather than the political to inform their education. Such an orientation stimulates a sense of place, and the growth of a unique to its area cultural life. To promote this viewpoint, and to further its encouragement of the artistic community,Rootdrinker Institute sponsors publications, readings, concerts, conferences, seminars, meetings and social gatherings.

On hiking trails, along streams, in libraries, through prose and poetry, the goal of preserving and improving the land and keeping alive the heritage of its people by joining with friends and neighbors is inherent to all of Rootdrinker Institute’s work.