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Herb McClees

Herb McClees, a Northwest poet, came to Seattle, from Texas, via Singapore and Boston. He appears at local “open mics” and is a member of PoetsWest, Redmond Association for the Spokenword, and Haiku Northwest.  His poetry performance has been selected for broadcast on KSER-FM.   Mr. McClees’ first published work was his chapbook: The Catch (2008) and his latest: Heaven's Drumhead: Poems from a Blessed Drummer (2014), FallingGecko Publishing, Kirkland, Washington. Herb McClees' poetry is also found in Clark Crouch's Poetic Reflections at the Creekside (2013), a collection drawn from Northwest “open mic” poets.  

A poet of the community, Mr. McClees was invited to read at the Duwamish Tribe’s 2013 Columbus Day First Nations Celebration; and on another occasion to celebrate the return of weekly live-music swing dancing at a local mall.  

Herb McClees began writing poetry at fourteen; but life in Dallas in the fifties didn’t suit him. All changed when his mother married an expat manager in the oil industry, for his next posting was Singapore! Herb was enthralled by its multi-racial, polyglot atmosphere, trading port bustle; and the gung-ho party life of the small American community.  

After graduating from the Singapore American School, Herb McClees returned to the U.S. to earn an engineering degree from M.I.T., taking electives in philosophy and humanities to balance his major’s heavy math and physics requirements; and furthering his love of language and the imagination. There, he was particularly influenced by Dr. Huston Smith (Religions of Man), who taught Eastern religion.   In poetry, Poe, Whitman, Sandberg, and Eliot were early influencers, and later, Chinese poetry, Frost, Yeats, Thomas, Millay, Wallace Stevens and Baudelaire.


Author, Herb McClees