Author George Clever.
Below: George Clever, Ivory Fishgold and Beth Hadley.
Local artist, performer, and writer George Clever, author of the poetry collection "Dancing with Grandfather" and the story collection "Bear Lake Monster and Other Clever Stories," credits much of his success to the Write Circle, a group of writers who meet Friday mornings at the Sinclairville Free Library.
"Because of this group I've really improved my writing," Clever
"This is not a hostile group," Clever
"It's very supportive.
, who said he
was the day's "token male," claimed that there were usually other men present, as well.
And, as Clever
stated, although the group is friendly and relaxed, if a member wants a critique of his
more polished work, the other authors are happy to oblige.
has self-published two books with Outskirts Press
, and is working on a third.
current project is a collection of stories about animals and the Delaware Indians called "Lenape Indian Animal Tales.
And though his
work often focuses on his
Native American heritage and culture, Clever's life experiences have been so diverse and interesting that his
readers can always be assured of new material.
poetry and stories reference everything from living in New Mexico and working at NASA
retirement at Bear Lake.
didn't publish any of his
creative writing until after he
retired, but he
had been dabbling in poetry for years before that.
"I'm a retired mathematics professor," Clever
"I had written professionally and published in my discipline.
It was part of the business.
I returned to my home area after I was widowed to raise my boys, and had time on my hands after I retired.
I realized that I had been writing poems since the fifties, and I had saved those poems."
Many of those poems found a home in Clever's collection "Dancing with Grandfather.
explains that his
poems are unique, and that the collection is not organized by topic.
Readers of Clever's work know what some of those "things" are: In addition to teaching mathematics at the college level and working for NASA, Clever was dean of American Indian Programs at Stanford.
was at Wounded Knee with his
He is a traditional dancer, attends two major Delaware gatherings each year, and belongs to the Eastern Delaware Nation in Pennsylvania.
's brother owns a marina and campground at Bear Lake, which is part of why Clever chose to live there.
And though the small community of Bear Lake is relatively peaceful, the environment there gives him plenty of material to write about.
writing constantly reflects his
life, and since life always brings new experiences, his
writing stays fresh and interesting.
chose to go the self-publishing route for many reasons.
didn't start putting his
poetry together in a collection until after his
didn't want to spend years shopping his
book around to traditional publishers.
However, this meant that Clever
had to learn the ropes of self-publishing.
"Books are not just sitting in warehouses anymore," Clever
"People can pull them up online."
There are drawbacks, though, which Clever
"The real difference is with marketing," he
"With traditional publishers, they help you with the marketing.
When you self-publish, it's all up to you.
And that takes time and resources.
It takes time away from your actual writing."
has a real passion not just for writing, but for storytelling, and for passing those stories down to future generations.
"I wanted to pass on stories to my children and grandchildren," he
"When you do an ancestor search, you get 'Born,' 'Lived,' and 'Died.' But you don't get much information on the 'Lived.' These stories from life give my children and grandchildren the opportunity to get to know me a little better."
To find out more about George Clever
stories and poetry, go to his
blog at www.cleverartandbooks.simplesite.com.
Upcoming readings are scheduled for Patterson Library
in Westfield on Tuesday, May 7 and Ahira Hall Memorial Library
in Brocton on Wednesday, June 19.