Award-Winning George Bilgere Presents Poetry Reading

Megan Clark

Megan Clark, Reporter

Prize-winning poet George Bilgere, featured on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, presented a poetry reading in the Cornette Library’s Frank M. Blackburn room on Thursday evening.

“Nothing lasts forever but a poetry reading,” Bilgere said.

 Bilgere’s poems are marked by his ability to find humor in all situations of his life. His poetry is inspired by events that have occurred in his life, including the birth of his first son, childhood memories, and his divorce.

From his most recent books Imperial and The White Museum, Bilgere put together 14 other poems to read during this event. He read through some of his most humorous poems including “Rate My Professors,” “The Return of Odysseus,” and “Grecian Temples.”

Around eighty people showed up to listen to Bilgere’s poetry reading. Listeners filled up the Blackburn Room, and extra chairs had to be placed outside of the room for the overflow of people there to listen. The event was free and open to the community, and several Canyon High School students and their teacher also attended this event.

“My teacher Mrs. Hale told us about this,” said Canyon High School senior Shady Kuster. “I have never been to a poetry reading before. I really enjoyed listening to him. It has been very interesting and intriguing.”

Shortly after 8 p.m., Bilgere read his last poem of the night. The poem, entitled “What I Want,” comes from his book The Good Kiss. Bilgere discussed how difficult the summer of his divorce was. Bilgere was a teacher during that time and found that having a summer without any distractions such as work made his recent separation even harder for him.

“The only way I could find my way out of it was to write my way out of it,” Bilgere said.

Since his divorce in 2002, Bilgere has continued to use writing as an outlet.

After the poetry reading, listeners enjoyed buffalo cookies and coffee. Attendees also had the opportunity to talk to Bilgere and ask him any questions they had.

“I don’t go out very often, but I’m glad I did tonight,” Canyon resident James Blankeau said. “I have always enjoyed poetry and this was a good time for me and my wife.”

The next day, Bilgere hosted a brown-bag lunch in Classroom Center 312. Students and faculty members came to this workshop session to meet and talk with Bilgere.

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