Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cynthia Gallaher  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago

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Illinois Connection

Gallaher lives in the Chicago area.

Biographical and Professional Information

Cynthia Gallaher, a Chicago native, is the author of three full collections of poetry, two chapbooks and a nonfiction reference "Frugal Poets' Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren’t a Poet," which was published Summer 2016. The Chicago Public Library lists her among its "Top 10 Requested Chicago Poets" and "Today's Chicago Woman" magazine named her one of "100 Women Making a Difference."

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Night Ribbons
ISBN: 096238030X

Polar Bear Pub Co. 1990

Swimmer's Prayer
ISBN: 1892034026

Missing Spoke Pr. 1999

Swimmer's Prayer casts a skewed eye on contemporary city scenes: the Chicago flood, B-girls from Berwyn, the man who dyed the Chicago River green, union organizers, and lead-foot denizens along the Kennedy Expressway.

Earth Elegance
ISBN: 1877636177

March Abrazo. 2000

Cynthia Gallaher's third poetry collection, Earth Elegance, departs from her urban focus in Swimmer's Prayer, to a panoramic view of animals and international environmental issues. The poems are accompanied by scratchboard drawings by Native American artist Lonnie Poco.

Omnivore Odes: Poems About Food, Herbs and Spices
ISBN: 1622292529

Finishing Line Press. 2013

A poetry chapbook

Frugal Poets' Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren't a Poet
ISBN: 1483571424

BookBaby. 2016

Frugal Poets’ Guide to Life is part personal journey, part life-coaching for poets (or those who’d like to live like one), part creativity guide, and part reference, with a special section on the modern history of the Chicago poetry scene, including the birth of the poetry slam. In many ways, this book is an anti-MFA guide to being a poet – or any other type of creative person. As poet Robert Frost said, “ To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.” Some of Gallaher’s more personal sections of the book trace dating a well-known underground comics artist – dinner at a Denny’s restaurant with an Academy Award Best Actor -- seeing a UFO in central Wisconsin – a night when poet and men’s movement icon Robert Bly was “tarred & feathered” at a poetry reading -- play rehearsals at David Mamet’s Chicago theater featuring then-unknown actor William H. Macy – how she met her poet husband, Carlos -- reflections on Gallaher’s family relative, artist and member of the Algonquin Round Table, Neysa McMein -- visits and stays at a variety of writers’ colonies around the country -- and celebrating how friend Sandra Cisneros launched an international literary career starting with a little eight-poem chapbook at a humble bookstore in a Chicago Puerto Rican neighborhood.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

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