Poet laureate Mark Gibbons is a lifelong resident of the state who began writing poetry in high school, married young, and has worked a variety of jobs to remain in Montana. His presentations will explore the power of poetry, how it reveals through personal experience and human emotion what it’s like to be a human being, and how it helps us recognize that all of us have more in common than we think. By sharing his and others’ poems, he will discuss his love of poetry, and his belief that it not only matters but is an essential tool for developing empathy and understanding. Poetry is social glue. Every person is a poet whether they know it or not. Everyone thinks, imagines, feels, dreams. Poetry shows us that on paper and in song.
Mark Gibbons is the author of nine books and two chapbooks of poetry, most recently In the Weeds and mostly cloudy. He’s edited two poetry collections for Drumlummon Institute and is the current editor of the Montana Poets Series for FootHills Publishing. For four decades, Gibbons has taught poetry to a variety of citizens in Montana from one-room schools to colleges to the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs. He lives in Missoula with his wife and continues to teach with the Missoula Writing Collaborative.