By Dennis Durband,
NPC Staff Writer
As a compilation of the poetry he’s written over the last 30 years, Northland Pioneer College Emeritus Professor Ron Goulet recently published 10 books on Amazon Kindle. A self-described “Picasso of poetry,” Goulet spent the past two years organizing and editing the 10 books and also published them through his own company, Goulet-Hart.
Goulet’s poetry covers a wide range of themes and topics. Among the topics are historical events and people, world religions, sociological and psychological issues, personal relationships and politics. Some of his favorite themes are love; good and evil; and the search for meaning in America. Goulet lists the following catchy titles among those 10 books: Etches, Sketches, Selfies and Snapshots; Rembrandt Once Again; Adventures in Antiquities; and On the Threshold of Caves.
A versatile and prolific writer, Goulet has also written two screenplays, six novels and 18 plays. Several of his plays have been turned into full productions or staged readings. His play American Dreams – one part of four related works with Group Portrait with Palo Verde Tree; The Ideal Diner; and Millennium Scrapbook — won the International Playwriting Contest sponsored by the Rubidoux Resident Theatre, in St. Joseph, Mo. Theatres in Dallas, Texas, and Edingburgh, Scotland, produced Play Dumb. Unwild West with Real Indians and The Ideal Diner have also made it onstage.
Goulet is currently in the process of publishing five more novels. He’s also writing a complete history of rock and roll, in poetry, to be titled It’s Only Rock and Roll: A Personal and Social History of Rock and Roll. In 1974, the Rolling Stones sang, “It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it.” Goulet likes it, too.
Where does all this writing inspiration come from? “I fell in love with the written word reading the likes of D. H. Lawrence, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Wolfe, James Joyce, John Keats, Shelly, William Butler Yeats, Tom Stoppard and Shakespeare. These were and are total wordsmiths. Total delight to read,” Goulet said.
Describing his unique writing style, Goulet says, “I write in a variety of styles and work with a lot of different subjects and themes. I’m post-toasties. Not modernist or post-modern, or post-post-modern. I see myself as a sort of Picasso of poetry, I move in and out of styles inventing things as I go.”
Goulet says his head is teeming with writing ideas. “I enjoy the writing process, developing ideas and seeing how far I can take them. Regarding novels, I get the germ of a story and like the challenge of trying to bring it to fulfillment. Moreover, when I’m writing ideas generate other ideas and it’s fun to see where it all goes.”
Some of Goulet’s books are outlined and well structured before he writes them. Others develop as he goes, which he calls “The flying-by-the-seat of your pants school of writing. It’s scary, but it’s fun. This is when you have the tiger by the tail and the tiger leads the way. I just hang on for the ride. If a novel is totally structured it’s like building a building. I have the blueprint and the real work comes with actually building it. I’m taking a concept and turning it into something tangible and workable.”
Goulet gets a thrill from seeing his plays acted on stage, “To actually see a character that is pretty much defined by words strut and fret his hour upon the stage, as Shakespeare would say, as a living character. It’s especially great when the actor adds their interpretation to the character. They can sometimes take a character places I never imagined, and if it works, it’s wonderful.”
Along with friends, Goulet started his own publishing company this summer as a vehicle to publish poetry and music. The company operates out of Austin, Texas.
Though Goulet says he is not technically savvy, one of his former NPC English students, All-AZ Academic Team member Gavin McInelly, showed him how to self-publish the books on Amazon Kindle. “There are not many bookstores anymore and they usually go with the tried and true stuff or New York Times so-called best sellers,” Goulet says. “It’s very hard to break into that market, which is why I go with online publishing. Bookstores will be antiquated soon. Dinosaurs. So online is definitely the future of publishing.”