Jim holds an M. Div. from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Tampa. He teaches Creative Writing at Florida Gulf Coast University. Jim and his wife, Connie, live in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, teaches, and pulls weeds.
I am reading through Jim Gustafson’s new book of poems for a second time this morning. I will be reading them for the third time and a fourth. These are poems one wants to know, not just read. He’s that good.
Brady Peterson—At the Edge of Town.
"For many years, I envied people who really knew how to have fun. I had reached a point where I didn't know how to let go, loosen up and have fun. I knew I needed a serious overhaul. I looked around for a manual like Fun for Dummies and couldn't find one. So, I started looking for smiles, listening for laughter, and telling myself to Take Fun Seriously." Jim Gustafson speaks from the soul to entertain, educate, and enlighten his readers with this collection of powerful insights, witty prose, and heartfelt sympathy for the human condition.
Ezra Pound famously said: "What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross" (Canto LXXXI). There is no dross to be found in Driving Home because Jim Gustafson has loved well and his poems remain as the written record of that love. They tell us home truths, "almost everything / there is to tell," about what should matter most to all of us, the ties that bind us together. The more of yourself you put at risk reading Gustafson's poems, the greater your reward will be. They are worth far more than your time.
Author, Untold Stories and The Politics of My Heart
Editor, Mudlark: An Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics
Gustafson's muse nobly refuses the tendered lies so often associated with time and aging. These songs of experience remind us that "each moment/is a different stream/never the current." Quietly outraged gifts, these are. Gifts, indeed. Donald Morrill, Awaiting Your Impossibilities
With Friar Fred's Diary, poet Jim Gustafson has created a friar for the ages, one sure to join Lippo Lippi and Lawrence in the literary canon. The world and mind of the modern-day mendicant spring to life as Gustafson showers his Friar Fred with affectionate irony, humor, and incisive insight. We suffer with him through his meditations and doubts, revel in his revelations and join him in his journey to the Holy Land and Portugal. The Teddy Bear tucked beneath his mattress and the fly painted over on his wall are but two of the unforgettable moments in the diary. But be warned! Like Frito-Lay chips, you won't be able to stop reading until you've devoured every one of the thirty-five entries in Friar Fred's Diary." Joe Pacheco, Sanibel's Joe's Songbook and Alligator in the Sky __________...