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Not something you hear every day, but the latest George Gott poetry book is free to those that want one.
George Gott poetry reading took place Tuesday, December 17 at Jim Dan Hill Library. The campus and community were all invited to attend and get one of his free books. George thought so highly of his tenure at UW-Superior that he wanted the books to be free of charge to those that attended.
The book is called The SycamoreTree and includes 120 poems he has written over the past year. Many of those are based on his childhood and growing up. Over 800 of his poems have been published worldwide in literary magazines, journals and publications.
George spent over 50 years teaching and his life experiences also included serving in WWII. The Gott family supports the Dorothy and George Gott Scholarship that goes to a student studying in English at UW-Superior.
The cover design of the book was produced by one of his former students, Barbara Resheske a 1971 graduate of UW-Superior. She was honored to be asked again to help with another of his books. This is the second time she has done a cover for George. “This is a privilege to do this for him. As one of his former students, I never would have thought I would have run into him again.” Resheske said the first cover was based on Japanese poetry. She said, “The first cover I did for him was The Willow Tree. I had a weeping willow, and it was weeping leaves. This book was The Sycamore Tree, a tree that he did climb outside his house even thou his mother told him not to. He gave me some inspirations and he was thrilled with the cover. The art work also has a feminine tone to it, because his writing was inspired by St. Teresa of Avila and Simone Weil. So I thought the two female writers that inspired him had to be part of the book cover.”
George also liked the cover and how it captured his writing reflections. “It is very interesting, it is what you think it means. Modern art can take two directions. It can take the direction that beauty has changed, or it can take the other process that says beauty has become ugliness. This one by Barbara says beauty has changed.”
UW-Superior faculty member Dr. Raychel Reiff worked with George, his wife Dorothy and even their daughter Patricia for several years at UW-Superior. The English professor was impressed with George and his latest work. “George has insight into things.I remember a number of different things teaching with George. He would just stop into my office and make insightful comments about authors and their works. It was a great experience working with him, his wife and his daughter.” Dr. Reiff hopes students appreciate his new book and what poetry can do for learning. “I don’t think students come out of high school with an appreciation for poetry, so they think they don’t like it. But when you sit down and examine poetry, my students do like it and appreciate it.”
George is happy to share his work, giving away the books free of charge and hopes to inspire other young writers by doing so.“This institution gave me a great opportunity and I am happy to give these books away. I hope the readers get a little bit of love and hope they will not desire any luxury in their lives.”
He writes four to five poems a day and is always reading great writers to get his inspirations for his next poem.
At the age of 93, he seems far from done inspiring others.
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