Sporting the visionary air and verve of a teenager…writer, editor, publisher, world traveler, Glenn Cheney of Sprague fills his days with literary passion as he strives to improve conditions through the writing.
But he’s not a teenager with starry dreams of transmogrifying a world in dire need of such useful magic; he is someone who has spent seven decades on our planet and has never given up on his ideals… someone who has invested himself in leaving a legacy of determination and decency in trying to elevate the elegance of living on our Earth, and to see others respect and venerate it much more.
And he does it with an energy and conviction that belies his 70 years.
Most recently, it’s in the form of his latest book, Notions from a Time of Peril, published late last year by New London Librarium Press.
“I started Librarium Press in 2007, partly out of dissatisfaction with some traditional companies and the way they treated the books they published,” he said. “One of them, for example, did extensive editing without ever letting me know.
“Creating my own business has also allowed me to speed up the process of producing these same books. And it gave me the opportunity to publish the work of other people who I perceived as worthy but unlikely to find their way into print otherwise,” Cheney said.
“There are times when someone just shares a concept with me and from there I encourage the creation of a book,” he added. “I love the process of preparing a book for publication.”
Among his 35 published books – a number through traditional publishing houses, and those since 2007 are the products of his self-founded New London Librarium Press – Cheney has explored topics ranging from hiking trails through the mountains of Brazil , to travel radioactive zones in Chernobyl (based on his time as a journalist in Ukraine after the collapse of the former Soviet Union), to a pilgrimage account of early America (with a perspective that differs from more conventional interpretations).
In some of his writings, Cheney even did a bit of what legendary American author Jack London was known to do: physically travel the lands and territories he describes.
This includes the upper 200 miles of Brazil’s Estrada Real mountain and interacting with the people who make up that culture.
“My wife is Brazilian so I have lived in Brazil three times,” he said. “A number of my books are translations of Brazilian literature into English.”
Not your typical Sprague town coach, Connecticut College visiting instructor, part-time painter…just a few of Glenn Cheney’s other hobbies.
His compilation of the many essays and reports he has written for the Day newspaper and its Times editions invites readers to an eclectic exploration of topics from a wide range: caring for our environment, American and world history, enigma of the human mind, the interactivity of moments with nature and its rich wildlife, the specter of COVID-19 and its contagious offspring, the marvel of mechanics, poverty versus wealth…everything he does with intimacy and flair, sometimes with an ironic wit akin to the famous late chronicler Art Buchwald; other times with a more solemn air associated with the likes of CNN late-night host Don Lemon, who isn’t afraid to stoke the fires of controversy.
Consider some of the titles found in the pages of his book of essays:
We need more trees; The Fate of Wealth; The burning cauldron of necessity; The Art of Horror; Save this statue… and the pedestal; Wake Up, America…and plenty of others that give the reader’s brain an itch just waiting for a good scratch.
Cheney’s goal for his new essay book? Simply that enough of us have read the book and considered its contents. He hopes to see New London Librarium Press generate greater public exposure so that well-crafted works from its collection of talented authors will encourage increased sales. Cheney strongly believes in Librarium’s unique inventory of published books, and that they deserve more readership.
“We are producing good books and gaining recognition, although we would like to generate more sales. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at marketing,” he admits.
As for the future, he has set his sights on his first novel in a long time, the one he hopes will eventually see on the cinema screen: “Quilombo – a Republic of Fugitive Slaves in Brazil”. He envisions it as a gripping tale of intrigue and adventure that will captivate readers from page one to the end.
As for the premise of the retreat, Glenn Cheney seems far too busy for that and with too many activities on his mind to even consider it. “Writing is what I do. It’s what defines me.
And he is doing it well. The man is driven by a sincere lifelong passion to shed a more positive light on this world.
“It’s very gratifying to know that something I’ve written is read by others and hopefully can help make the world a better place.”
There are writers’ talks, book presentations, speaking engagements and the like that he would most certainly enjoy. Lots to do… So why stop?
For more information about New London Librarium Press and the work of Glenn Cheney and his fellow authors, visit: NLLibrarium.com. You might find something rare and irresistible there.
Nicholas Checker of New London is an author and playwright.