I believe I joined the NPL after hearing about it in Word Ways, but I'm not sure of this. I heard about Word Ways from a teacher I had at Brown University.
Source: email from Eric.
First Issue: Jul 1980
I originally considered taking the nom “Sugarlips”, from a line of Snoopy's in an old Charlie Brown comic strip. Then I thought about using “USA”, a rebus rubric with the reading “am Eric A” (“America”). Finally, I decided to base my nom on my Hebrew name, “Duvvid Melech”, which in English is “King David”. I searched an entire dictionary of names looking for ones related to kings. When I came across “Eric”, which is Old Norse for “always ruler”, I knew I'd found my nom. For one thing, as a longtime fan of all things related to Stockholm, I happened to know that “Eric” was the most common male name given in Sweden in 1973. Furthermore, I noticed that the nom was a reversal of “ciré”, a fabric with a brilliant finish that I happen to be partial to. To top it off, “Eric” is the “light” to the cryptic clue “wild rice”, which is an edible grain!
As base-supplier and versifier: