Alumni Programs

Gary Lorentzen

Photo of Gary Lorentzen

Education

B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1975
Teacher Certificate, History, 1978, Germanics, 1989, University of Washington

Website

Gary Lorentzen

Email

Contact via email

Biographical Note

Gary Lorentzen was born in Wyoming, attended high school at Olympia High School, served in the Army Security Agency as a high-speed Morse intercept operator and Russian linguist, 1968-72, and graduated from Evergreen in the first graduating class, 1975. He received a Washington State Teacher's Certificate in 1978 and has been teaching high school History and German since then. He began writing fictional accounts of his experiences in Vietnam in 2000 and published Vietnam Stories, a collection of short stories and novellas, in 2009.

Gary Lorentzen bookPublication Type

Fiction

Latest Publication Title

Vietnam Stories, 2009

Additional Publications

"The Boy Soldier & The Prostitute" in TANS: The TANS Collection, Volume I, IUniverse, 2002

Publication Excerpt

From Vietnam Stories:

I looked over at Willie and saw in his face the same contemplation and perhaps sadness. A flood of memories filled me. I didn’t want to lose them or my friendship with Willie like I felt I had lost whatever we had with Jim. I wanted to reach out and hold Willie. I had learned to hate so strongly in the military and whatever feelings of love and affection I had were pushing up, breaking through, threatening to destroy the last four years of conditioning. I had wanted this breakthrough, but now I was panicking. Willie looked over at me and I could see that he, too, was struggling with his own thoughts and perceptions. We never spoke. Neither of us could let it out, even to talk about. We were so bonded together, yet our relationship was so frightening to us that we couldn’t express our mutual respect and affection. Macho grew in the land. The Texas sky fell over us and we grew hard against the emerging desert. I knew then that our separation was near and we couldn’t say to each other that it mattered or that we cared. We loved each other but were afraid of that emotion. We refused to risk exposing ourselves. We had sped through the sound barrier from Vietnam to the States and the concussion shattered our link. We lost each other somewhere in the wastelands of West Texas in an inertial plunge into old adolescent ways of being.

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

Evergreen taught me not to be afraid to express myself and to be a life-long learner. It also taught me how to communicate--to package information in such a way that the audience, whether students or readers, can unwrap the info and consume it. I think my teaching and my book, Vietnam Stories, were both shaped by my experiences as a student at Evergreen. It is gratifying that my students and my readers enjoy what I do.