Eugene M. Gagliano, (pronounced Galiano), is a retired elementary teacher, children’s author, and poet. A native of Niagara Falls, New York, he has been a resident of Buffalo, WY for over 45 years, and taught elementary education for 34 years. Gene, one of over 500 teacher nominations, received one of the ten 2001 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards. He has been in Who’s Who in America’s Teachers several times during his career. The local Johnson County IRA awarded him their Celebrate Literacy Award in 2004, and he later received the IRA’s 2004 Wyoming State Literacy Award. Gene and his wife of nearly 50 years, Carol, have four children and six grandchildren.
In 1966 he received his A.A.S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the S.U.N.Y. at Cobleskill, and in 1969 he received his B.S. degree in Elementary Education K-6 from the S.U.N.Y. at Geneseo.
Gene is a 1983 graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Wyoming Writers, Wyoming Poets, and member, as well as past president, of the Johnson County Chapter of the International Reading Association.
His children’s stories have appeared in My Friend, the Joyful Child Journal and The Friend magazines. Gene’s short story, The Hand, appeared in an anthology entitled Bruce Coville’s Book of Nightmares, published by Scholastic. Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul included his short story entitled You’ll be Good for Him.
Gene’s first book, Secret of the Black Widow, was published in July of 2002 by White Mane Press. It is a middle-grade historical fiction mystery and was selected as an IRA Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award nominee for 2005-2006. His next book, titled C is for Cowboy, a Wyoming Alphabet, was released in August 2003 and went quickly to a second printing. It is part of a national series of state alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press. Gene’s young adult novel Inside the Clown was released on September 28, 2003, and another middle-grade fiction book titled Falling Stars was released in the fall of 2004. Gene had an article in a new book released by Publish America titled The Published Author’s Guide to Promotion. The companion book to C is for Cowboy was released in May 2006 titled Four Wheels West, a Wyoming Number Book. It was a 2006-2007 Western Writers Spur Award nominee. Sleeping Bear Press released two more of Gene’s Books in 2009: V is for Venus Flytrap, a Plant Alphabet and My Teacher Dances on the Desk, a collection of children’s poetry. Dee and the Mammoth (illustrated by Zachary Pullen), was released in December 2010, along with a Sleeping Bear Press board book, Little Wyoming. It was used for a fundraiser by the Wyoming State Library in 2010. Gene’s second book of children’s poetry titled The Magic Box came out in January 2011.
Gene’s poetry has been published in high school and college anthologies, as well as in 2001-A Poetic Odyssey, The Dakota, Warm Thoughts, Pegasus, Olympus, Pieria, A Collection of Poems, Joyful Notes, WREN Magazine, South Dakota Magazine, and Whispers Down Wyoming Wind. His first adult poetry anthology, Prairie Parcels, was self-published by Clear Creek Printers in October 2005.
His articles have appeared in Highlights at Chautauqua, Wren, Mature View, Catholic Register, Catholic Parent, Wyoming Writer, The Fence Post, and Wyoming Homes and Living.
Gene attended a Tomie de Paola Workshop at the University of New Hampshire sponsored by his local I.R.A. in 1986. He attended the Highlights Writers’ Workshop at Chautauqua, New York, on a full scholarship in 1989, and then again in 2007(?). He also attended the 1994 Wyoming Writers’ Project, and the 1996-1999 Wyoming Writers’ Project Retreats. In January of 2003, Gene was awarded an artist in residence at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in New York Mills, Minnesota.
Gene won first place in a national writing contest, the 1999 Children’s Writers Fiction Contest sponsored by Goodwin Williams Goodwin Literacy Associates. He also won first place in the Range Writers’ Poetry Contest. He has placed first, second and third for his children’s fiction in the Wyoming Writers’ Contest. Gene has been the recipient of the Wyoming Writers’ 1990 and 1995 Emmie Mygatt Success Award.
Gene gave a writing presentation at the Wyoming Young Writers Festival in Casper. He was also a presenter at the 1991, 2003 and 2004 State I.R.A. Conference. In the fall of 2004, 2005, and 2009 Gene presented at the Montana State Reading Conference and the Teacher School Improvement Conference in Wyoming. He also presented at the Children’s Literature Conference in Greeley, Colorado in 2005, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the SCBWI’s 2005 Spring Writing Workshop, and the Spearfish Writers 2005 Spring Workshop in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Gene was invited to attend the 38th Children’s Literature Festival at Central Missouri State University in March 2006 and was the featured writer of the year for the Sheridan Friends of the Library at a reception in April 2006. He was one of the featured children’s authors at the 2006 and 2010 Equality State Book Festival in Casper, Wyoming, the 2007 and the 2009 Wyoming Book Festival in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Gene presented at the 35th Plains Regional IRA Conference in Branson, Missouri in 2009, and the 36th Plains Regional IRA Conference in Rapid City South Dakota in 2010. Gene was the main speaker at a benefit in Casper for Raising Readers in Wyoming in January 2010.
Gene attended the Highlights Foundation Workshop in Honesdale, PA in October 2010 with Patricia Gauch.
In 2011, Gene presented at the Colorado Council CIRA in Denver, Colorado, was the luncheon speaker for the Nebraska State Reading Association in Kearney, Nebraska, and the main speaker at a Raising Readers in Wyoming benefit dinner in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He also presented at the Cheyenne Botanical Gardens in July.
In the spring of 2011, Zachary Pullen and Gene toured Wyoming together with their new book Dee and the Mammoth. The Wyoming State Library selected the book to represent the state of Wyoming at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. The book received the Wyoming State Historical Society Award for fiction in September.
Since the fall of 2003, Gene has traveled in Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and Nebraska doing school author visits for grades K-12, where he continues to teach and inspire readers and writers. He has presented to 109 Wyoming schools. Gene gives inspirational talks to various groups, schools, and libraries. He continues to mentor young people and adults with their writing, encouraging and sharing his knowledge. He started his own writing critique group, Wind Writers, a few years ago. He has spoken in Montana, Texas, and Hawai’i, with over 165 school visits. Gene is a member of the Western Writers and JCAHC Arts Council.
On October 5th, Gene presented to workshop sessions titled Encouraging Creative Writing in K-8 Classrooms at the University of Wyoming, for the College of Education 2013 Fall Literacy Conference.
Other conference presentations include: South Dakota Workshop 2005, WLA Conference in Gillette, 2006, IRA Regional Conference in MT 2007, WLA Conference in Cheyenne 2011, Wyoming Writers Conference 2013 & 2017, UW Fall Literacy Conference 2013, State English and Language Arts Teachers’ Conference in Casper in 2014, Wyoming Geographic Alliance Conference 2017
GENE IN ACTION
Gene reading his latest poetry at the Wyoming State Legislature on March 2, 2020.