After receiving his M.F.A. in fiction at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Dennis Gilbert parlayed an interest in fine food into an alternative career as a chef. In the ensuing decade, he earned acclaim for his innovative cuisine and wrote extensively on food, cooking, and restaurants for Portland Magazine, Yankee, and Time/Life Books. While he continued to publish fiction, he also began writing poetry; Cormorant Diving, in a fine arts letterpress edition, was published in 1990 by Muse Press. A growing interest in the interdisciplinary studio led, in 1993, to Insular Harmonies, a collaborative multi-media installation for which he wrote the script and which was supported by the NEA’ s New Forms Initiative. At about this time, his work with word/image dynamics turned him toward the visual arts. He began painting in 1995 and has shown his work in Portland and New York, as well as at USM, the University of New England, and Maine Maritime Academy.
Professor Gilbert has been a member of the faculty at USM since 1983. He has also often taught writing in public schools under the Maine Touring Artists Program and has been a guest faculty member on a number of occasions at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. For six years he was director of the Bates College Summer Program in Creative Writing.
An active member of the various service communities, Prof. Gilbert is a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Television Network, a long-standing advocate for USM’ s Part-Time Faculty, and a perennial contributor to the ongoing evolution of policy and curriculum at the university.