Gillian Wegener

Gillian Wegener

Gillian Wegener is the author of three books of poetry: a chapbook, Lifting One Foot, Lifting the Other (In the Grove Press, 2001), and a full-length collection, The Opposite of Clairvoyance (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2008), and her new collection, This Sweet Haphazard (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017). Widely published, she has won several awards for her work, including the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2006 and 2007, and the Zócalo Public Square Prize for Poetry of Place in 2015. Wegener, a junior high teacher, lives with her husband and daughter in Modesto, where she coordinates and hosts the monthly Second Tuesday Reading Series. She is a cofounder of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center and has served as the poet laureate for the city of Modesto.

This Sweet Haphazard

“In This Sweet Haphazard, Gillian Wegener turns her well-tuned ear, her sharp eye, and her considerable intelligence and humor to the California of lightning fires, bulldozed almond trees, and murky rivers with unpredictable currents, as well as that of clear desert night skies, foggy coastlines, and the green light that filters through the sequoias. She sees the beauty and melancholy all around her, and she approaches it with tenderness and without aesthetic pretension. This is a beautiful book of powerful poems.” —Jane Mead, author of World of Made and Unmade

“‘Place, to the writer at work, is seen in a frame,’ writes Eudora Welty. ‘Not an empty frame, a brimming one.’ Everything is brimming in Gillian Wegener’s fantastic new collection of poems: rivers, bees, the Old Mill Cafe, forest fires, churches, Neville Bros. Service, the ghosts of Humboldt County, the streets, shops, and citizens of Modesto, California, and most importantly, the unmapped geography of the human heart. Candid and creative, Wegener charts past and present, interior and exterior, in order to create a poetic landscape we never want to leave.” —Dean Rader, author of Works & Days

The Opposite of Clairvoyance

“In a characteristically authentic poem, Gillian Wegener gives us the soul masquerading as a butterfly. ‘Attaching the wings is the easy part,’ she begins, preparing us for flight that takes different shapes in poem after poem. Whatever her subject–the natural world animated again and again by birds–or daily human settings–Wegener soars, delivering beautiful, heartfelt vistas with her sure knowing sight.”
–Barbara Ras, author of One Hidden Stuff

Read poems from The Opposite of Clairvoyance by Gillian Wegener.

Read Michael Dennis’s review of This Sweet Haphazard in Today’s Book of Poetry.

Three poems from This Sweet Haphazard featured in The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor during September 2017: Letter to My Husband Far Away, Nature Walk, and Chorus.

This Sweet Haphazard reviewed June 1, 2017, in New Pages.

Along with Erin Rodoni, Gillian was interviewed in Episode XXIV of Pixelated, a series of conversations with writers at 0s&1s .

Congratulations to Gillian, who ends her successful two terms as Modesto’s poet laureate with a reception on July 12 at McHenry Museum.

Gillian’s poem, Bolling Grove, Avenue of the Giants Stop #2, appears in Clade Song #5.

Gillian won the 1st annual poetry prize for Wherewithal, for her poem A Boy Comes Toward You.”

In June of 2015, an article about Gillian appeared in the Modesto Bee.

Gillian’s poem “The Old Mill Cafe” won the The Zocalo Public Square 2015 Poetry Prize for a poem of place.

Here is a link to a video of Gillian’s keynote address for the 2013 Modesto Poetry Festival.

Congratulations to Gillian, the new poet laureate for Modesto! Read about her investiture on August 4 here in the Modesto Bee.

Read Gillian’s poem “My Father Begins to Disappear,” was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize by In Posse Review.

An article about Gillian appeared in the Modesto Bee on Sunday, March 2, 2008.

Poets Sam Pierstorff, Stella Beratlis, Ed Bearden and Gillian Wegener talk about the anthology More Than Soil; More Than Sky on October 21, 2011 on Capital Public Radio–listen here.

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