December 6, 2021

Reading series’ first poet from Idaho

USU-CEU department of English hosted Gary Gildner to its first poetry reading of the year in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center Alumni Room on Tuesday night. Students, faculty and staff listened to Gildner tell stories.
Jason Olsen and Kent Templeton, English instructors, were interested in bringing Gildner to campus both because of his past readings in Price and the quality and accessibility of Gildner’s work.

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USU-CEU department of English hosted Gary Gildner to its first poetry reading of the year in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center Alumni Room on Tuesday night. Students, faculty and staff listened to Gildner tell stories.
Jason Olsen and Kent Templeton, English instructors, were interested in bringing Gildner to campus both because of his past readings in Price and the quality and accessibility of Gildner’s work.
“Gildner is a poet that connects with college students because of his emphasis on storytelling and humor,” Dr. Olsen said. “I think students often think that poets are stuffy and formal, but as soon as he starts telling stories that are funny and relatable, they realize that this guy is something different.”
In addition to the reading, Gildner spent Tuesday visiting several English department classes, discussing his habits as a writer, his strategies for improving your writing, and his suggestions to students for making their writing better.
The students themselves were quite engaged with Gildner’s advice and poems. USU-CEU student Tyler Gale said, “I liked how he wrote about nature because you can tell that’s what he loves. I especially loved the poem ‘The Cougar’ because it was about both his father and nature itself.”
One of Gildner’s previous appearances on campus occurred on September 12, 2001. Gildner reminisced about this at the reading, telling those in attendance about the large audience that attended that night after the attack on the Twin Towers. Gildner explained that when he asked people why they had decided to that night, he was told, “We were sick of watching those planes crash into those buildings and we just wanted to hear some stories.”

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