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This professor has something to say: Chariton Review at Truman State accepts eight of Tracy's pieces for publishing
Jessica Kenyon
Antelope Staff
Photo by Jessica Kenyon
Glenn Tracy

Life has come full circle for Glenn Tracy, assistant chair of teacher education and director of teacher education program. He has returned to his roots as a writer in the 1970s and recently has had some of his work accepted for publication.

Back in the ‘70s Tracy took a poetry and writing workshop class at Truman State in Missouri where he received an undergraduate degree in social studies education with endorsements in Spanish and English and a master's in English with a focus on comparative literature.

He has once again found the time to write about what he enjoys. This includes pieces about small towns and subjects that are rather unusual. “I write about the bits and pieces of life that are often overlooked. Everybody and every place has a story to tell. Sometimes I imagine what that story might be and go from there,” Tracy said.

The stories that Tracy has told can deal with domestic abuse, migrant workers and their invisibility to most people or even how frustrating it would be to try to write like Edgar Allan Poe.
Tracy can identify with the frustration in working until the words are just right. “Often I am frustrated, but occasionally I hit on the right words. Then there is a catharsis of sorts, a lifting of a burden and a bit of wonderment,” he says.

Tracy takes his interest in myths, cultures and people and puts his ideas into something that is considered an art— poetry.

After completing a short story and about 10 poems, he recently submitted eight of his pieces to The Chariton Review at Truman State. To his surprise all of his pieces were chosen to be published.

Director and editor-in-chief Nancy Rediger said the work will be printed in the spring journal Tracy wrote for as a student. “It’s kind of like going home again, if that is possible,” Tracy said.
In his poem “Midnight Poetry” Tracy writes of his journey as a writer.

“I used to try and imitate Poe
Titillate a somber line into some kind of mayhem,
But it never worked.
I was not cut out to be a slasher
Or an epicurean walling up an insulting vintner.
I was never cruel or imaginative enough.”

Tracy says he doesn’t want to show readers or teach them in his pieces. Instead, he wants readers to draw their own conclusions. “Sometimes I think there are things I should have written about but didn’t. I feel like I cheated people by not writing it.”

“I feel like I have reached the age where I have something to say,” Tracy says. “I did take quite a big break in writing.” Now, Tracy likes to write about things that matter and what he hopes other people think should matter.

Collecting books about history, religious theology, British and Native American literature and myths from other cultures have always been of interest to Tracy.  “I’m afraid people are forgetting the past. People might lose their way if they don’t know where they are from, the culture and the language.”

Tracy takes ideas from cultures such as the Aztecs and reflects upon them sometimes juxtaposing past and present.  In “Change” Tracy creates a connection for Nebraskans.

“Sometimes I get Mexican pesos in change:
The eagle perched on the cactus
Talons clutching the serpent
Reflects an Aztec history
The local Nebraskan farmers can never know.”

Tracy says he enjoys thinking about things that most people never bother with. He sees immigration as a stimulating and healthy force in our culture, and he believes “You cannot begin to appreciate another culture unless you can see beauty in it.”

If you would like to contact Glenn Tracy you can reach him at (308) 865-8821 or tracyge@unk.edu. To subscribe to The Chariton Review visit http://tsup.truman.edu/.

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