‘… people just float …’ newest work for CC’s Hanson

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Image of Chad Hanson's book "People Just Float."

In addition to his day job as a sociology instructor at Casper College, Chad Hanson is also an accomplished writer. His newest collection of written musings, “… people just float …,” is now available through Kallisto Gaia Press.

“… people just float …” is a collection of 28 writings from Hanson, the winner of the Wyoming Arts Council 2020 Creative Writing Fellowship. But “writings” doesn’t fully give due to Hanson’s work, which Kallisto Gaia Press Editor, Tony Burnett, calls “ … a quirky little collection of magical vignettes.” Hanson himself admitted that though the collection of writings could be viewed as prose poems, that too was a broad category.

“My work often sparks questions, like: ‘What are these?’ he said, noting that people have asked him if they were perhaps “tiny stories.” “In the past, my prose poems have been published as both ‘micro’ and ‘flash fiction, so these are reasonable questions,” he said.

However, when Burnett described his prose poems as “magical vignettes,” Hanson thought it worked. “When I heard that for the first time, it struck me as fair. Magical realism is a literary tradition where everyday life pulses with a current of the absurd. Ordinary characters often face the impossible: people turn into trees, paved streets become pools of water, and tattoos learn to talk.”

According to Burnett, Hanson submitted “… people just float …” as poetry. “I read it, reread it, and read it again, but I couldn’t confirm that it was poetry,” said Burnett. Because he couldn’t confirm that the submission was a collection of poems, Burnett created the made-up genre, “magical vignettes.” “The only way I could get it out of my head was to publish it,” Burnett added. The book is now available on the Kallisto Gaia Press website at kallistogaiapress.org/product/people-just-float-by-chad-hanson. Burnett promised that “… people just float …” “is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.”

Hanson’s other works include “This Human Shape” (2016), one of seven finalists for the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Book Awards for 2017 in the “Creative Writing” category. He was awarded a 2014 Creative Writing Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction from the Wyoming Arts Council and was an honorable mention for the 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the council. Hanson also won the David Martinson — Meadowhawk Prize in 2013 from Red Dragonfly Press, which resulted in the publication of his first book of poems, “Patches of Light.”

In addition to his two books of poetry, Hanson is the author of two nonfiction works: “Swimming with Trout” and “Trout Streams of the Heart,” and two research works: “In Search of Self: Exploring Student Identity Development” and “The Community College and the Good Society.”

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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