Gary Gildner is the author of nearly two dozen poetry collections and works of prose and professor emeritus of English at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Among the many awards Gildner has received for his poetry and short stories are the Robert Frost Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, two National Endowment Fellowships, five Yaddo Fellowships, the MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and the William Carlos Williams Prize.
Calling from the Scaffold is a collection of poems about connecting and not connecting—of approaching the brink of connecting. It’s about paying tribute and salvaging and gratitude. The voices vary in their longings: we hear from men and women, the young and no longer young. Nature often is there to help them out. The poet, also a writer of fiction and nonfiction, is interested in story, in his characters’ ability to move down the road, searching for their best selves, best home, putting together the pieces that move them toward that famous happy ending.
“Aliveness is Gary Gildner’s striking quality,” Crystal McLean writes in the magazine New Letters, and thise selection of Gary Gildner’s previously published poems, plus eighteen new poems, demonstrates the aptness of that perception. Accessible and eminently readable, the poems in Blue Like the Heavens also possess great emotional depth. Readers who complain about the obscurity of contemporary American poetry will delight in this book.