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.
“Frugal poet, thank you for documenting the Chicago poetry scene as I remember it. Thank you for the abundance of writers’ quotes, spot-on about the real writer’s life. Thanks for a great reference tool for those starting out on their own writer’s path. Finally, frugal poet, thank you for sharing your own personal story with generosity and, above all, honesty.”
~ Sandra Cisneros, author of House on Mango Street, Caramelo and A House of My Own, and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship