Gale Acuff – Another Poet You Need to Know!!!

A thousand years ago, in 1978, I got my pilot’s license.  Before that I didn’t know anyone who flew (except my parents).  Then all of a sudden, everyone I met was a pilot!  Has that ever happened to you? 

Well I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of Gale Acuff until we published him in San Pedro River Review ( 

Then I started seeing his name all over, in great journals, with great poems.  If you have not read Gale, consider this… 

When I hear my boyfriend giggling in the other room like a little kid, I know he’s reading Gale Acuff.

 Gale has a style and a voice that never gets tiring, that never gets old.  His work is wry, spot-on, and he nails whatever character in whose voice he’s writing.  He has a whole series of poems where he is a young boy writing about being in love with Miss Hooker, his Sunday School teacher.  They kill me every time.

 Speaking of killing,

  “Wrongful Death”

 What will I have to say for myself when
they find me dead?  I might have my arms raised
and my mouth open and my eyes wide, what
they call rigor mortis, depending on
how long I’ve been lying there undiscovered.
Where will they find me? I may be asleep
in bed, permanently, only to wake
up out of this world.  I’ll be cooking
lunch or supper, say, then clutch at my heart
as I fall and the plate and utensils
fall and I crash my head on the counter
and fall to the tile, my meal frying till
it all burns to smoke, body to spirit.
I know that it will happen, just not how.
Someone will come upon me – that’s how I’ll
find myself.  My sister’s dog died this way.
I was mowing the lawn and he was in
my way and I hollered for him to move
but he couldn’t hear me for the engine
and I could hardly hear myself so I
stopped and went over to where he was sleep
-ing but he wasn’t…

 Gale Acuff has poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, San Pedro River Review, Descant, Adirondack Review, Ottawa Arts Review, Worcester Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Arkansas Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poem, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). He has taught university English in the US,China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

 Find his books.

 Find him.


Tobi Cogswell is a fan of Gale Acuff’s.  Who cares about her bio?