Flint-bred novelist, memoirist and poet Gary Gildner will return to his hometown Monday, Sept. 29. for two classroom visits and a community reading, at 7 p.m. in the Tuscola Rooms of UMF's White Building. He's the author of 20 books, but the one front and center in these visits is The Warsaw Sparks, his 1990 account of coaching a Polish baseball team when he was in Warsaw on a Fulbright Scholarship. Save the date! It would be great if we had a robust local crowd for the reading.
Gildner’s works include My Grandfather's Book, Blue Like the Heavens, and The Bunker in the Parsley Fields, which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. In his long career he also has received the National Magazine Award for Fiction, Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams and Theodore Roethke poetry prizes, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Of his latest book of poetry, Cleaning a Rainbow, critic Paul Zimmer wrote,
"Here he comes again with a new book of poems—Gildner, the kid from Flint, the jaunty pitcher/shortstop, the quarterback from Holy Redeemer, a genuine American article, still in love with the 1950s and being young, still showing us the fancy moves and surprising turns that inevitably swerve his poems toward the reader’s affections. He still has the briskness and inventiveness, but these poems are wiser, more practiced, embracing a new kind of resolution.”
Gildner’s mother and a number of other relatives and many friends still live in the area. He said when contemplating his reading tour for the reissued memoir, his stop in Flint is the one he is most eagerly anticipating.