Gary Glazner is the founder and Project Director of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP). The APP was awarded the 2012 MetLife Foundation Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award in the category of Community Engagement. The National Endowment for the Arts listed the APP as a “best practice” for their Arts and Aging initiative. Glazner is an internationally recognized speaker and expert on using poetry with people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and has given Glazner has given talks at over 30 conferences for among others: the Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Foundation of America; Generations United; National Center for Creative Aging; the University of San Diego, Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the Veteran’s Administration teaching over 4,000 healthcare workers and family members on how to use poetry with people living with dementia.
Praise for Glazner’s speaking engagements:
- "Regarding the feedback we received on your presentation, the overall evaluation was "Excellent" both for the presentation and the content. A few comments received were: excellent presentation, full of passion; very relevant and useful information to caregivers, great energy and very entertaining."
- Mary P. Sundsmo, MBA, Program Director, Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Testimonials from our conference attendees included:
- “Gary was worth the whole event-saved the best for last!”
- “Powerful! Exciting! Stimulating!”
- “What a fun presentation and a fantastic presenter!”
- “After Gary’s presentation, I feel a sense of ‘renew’ in the community of like minded people-great fun!”
- Shelly Domborski, Regional Director, North Bay Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association
NBC's “Today” show, NPR's “All Things Considered” and Voice of America have featured segments on Glazner’s work. Harper Collins, W.W. Norton and Salon.com have published his work. Glazner has worked with many institutions using their art to inspire the performance and creation of poetry by people living with memory loss including the Museum of Modern Art. In 2010, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin funded a pilot project for the APP in Germany, this work has led to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw is funding a pilot project for the APP in Poland in 2012. To date the APP has held programming in 22 states and served over 15,000 people living with dementia.
In 1990, Glazner working with Poetry Slam founder Marc Smith produced the first U.S. National Poetry Slam in San Francisco. The National Poetry Slam annual event is now in its 23rd year and has over 400 poets participate.
Glazner began teaching poetry to young students in 1990, as part of the California Poets-in-the-Schools program, he has worked with students from kindergarten to graduate level, in 5 states, and internationally in Germany, Korea, and Poland, most notably as poet-in-residence at Desert Academy, in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he was the coach of the Precision Poetry Drill Team. Among the group’s many accomplishments were performing for 20,000 people at the Zozobra Festival and being featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
Glazner is the author and editor of five books including: "Ears on Fire: Snapshot Essays in a World of Poets," published on La Alameda Press, the book chronicles a year abroad in Asia and Europe meeting poets, working on translations and writing poems; "How to Make a Living as a Poet" on Soft Skull Press, which features essays and interviews on creative ways to bring poetry to the world and “Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry,” on Manic D Press. Glazner was the Managing Director for the Bowery Poetry Club from 2007 to 2010. He oversaw a staff of 18, which produced between 20 and 30 events per week.
The Alzheimer's Poetry Project was awarded the 2012 MetLife Foundation Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award in the category of Community Engagement.