Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Muse: New Wyoming Poet Laureate

In my heart, I've always been a poet. . . .
~ Eugene M. Gagliano*

Eugene ("Gene") M. Gagliano has been named Wyoming's eighth Poet Laureate. He succeeds A. Rose Hill (July 9, 2015 - July 10, 2016). His appointment became official with the signing of an executive order on July 11, 2016.

Information about the honorary post is available in my April 26, 2010, Monday Muse profile of David Romtvedt, Wyoming's fourth state poet.

In the news release from the governor's office, Gagliano is quoted as being "very excited" about being given "a new venue for me to get out to kids and talk about reading and writing, inspiring them and encouraging them." 

* * * * *

Eugene M. Gagliano, a retired elementary school teacher, writes in his brief autobiography that he began writing poetry in grade 7 and subsequently published poems in newspapers and magazines in middle school and high school, as well as in college anthologies. His poetry collection for adults is Prairie Parcels

Devoted to teaching children, which he did for more than three decades, Gagliano has published Discover America: Teacher's Guide (Sleeping Bear Press, 2006) and books for preteens and teens that include, most recently, Booger (Outskirts Press, April 2016), Angel's Landing (Booklocker, 2015), Falling Stars (PublishAmerica, 2004), and Inside the Clown (PublishAmerica, 2003).

Gagliano's illustrated books for grade school children include Little Wyoming (Sleeping Bear Press; Boardbook Ed., 2010), V is for Venus Flytrap: A Plant Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, 2009), the children's poetry collection My Teacher Dances on the Desk (Sleeping Bear Press, 2009), which received the Wyoming State Literacy Award (2004) and was shortlisted for Delaware Diamonds Book List: A Children's Choice Award (2010-2011); Four Wheels West: A Wyoming Number Book (Sleeping Bear Press, 2006), and C is for Cowboy: A Wyoming Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, 2003). 

Several additional books by Gagliano are posted on the My Books page of his Website. One is Dee and the Mammoth (Tate Geological Museum, 2010), which was given the Wyoming State Historical Society's Publications Awards—Books—Fiction (2011) and chosen by the Wyoming State Library to represent the state at the 2011 National Book Festival, in Washington, D.C. Another, The Secret of the Black Widow (White Mane, 2002; available through resellers), was nominated for a Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Book Award (2005-2006) and received the Western Horizon Award (2002) from Wyoming Writers.

Short stories and poems by Gagliano have been published in Catholic Parent, the 2012 anthology Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul ("You'll be Good for Him"), The Fence Post, and Joyful Child Journal

The recipient of an Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award (2001) and a Wyoming State Literacy Award (2004) from the International Literacy Association (formerly, International Reading Association), Gagliano attends conferences and visits scores of elementary and intermediate schools to make entertaining, interactive, grade-specific presentations on storytelling, including character development. Those presentations are not limited to Wyoming; he also goes to schools in Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas. In addition, he speaks at adult workshops about the creative writing process. 


Photo Courtesy Eugene M. Gagliano Website and Office of the Governor

All Poetry Excerpts © Eugene M. Galiano

* Quoted from "Lucky" Post at Writing Wyoming Blog (In this post, Gagliano discusses how he wrote a poem about morning walks in June.)

Office of the Governor, "Governor Mead Appoints Eugene M. Gagliano of Buffalo as Poet Laureate", News Release, July 11, 2016

Eugene M. Gagliano Profiles Online:, Wyoming Arts CouncilWyoming Authors

Eugene M. Gagliano on FaceBook

Eugene M. Gagliano, "Lucky", Guest Post, Writing Wyoming Blog, August 5, 2014

My Teacher Dances on the Desk on GoogleBooks

Maggie Mullen, Interview with Eugene M. Gagliano, Wyoming Public Media, July 15, 2016 (4:46-Minute Audio Available) Gagliano reads his poem "Always the Wind".

Nick Spanos, "Gagliano Named Poet Laureate", Buffalo Bulletin, July 13, 2016

"Dreams Do Come True for Children's Author Eugene Gagliano", Wyoming Book Festival Blog, August 25, 2009 (This post relates how Gagliano became a writer.)

Wyoming Poets on FaceBook

Tate Geological Museum (Dee and the Mammoth may be ordered from the museum. A DVD comes with the book.)

White Mane (White Mane Kids published historical fiction for children and young adults.)

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