Dr. Benjamin Utter, Ouachita Baptist University visiting assistant professor of English, has published a children’s book titled “Gladys the Grayish-Green Dragon” with Bowen Press.
“Dr. Utter delightfully portrays the trouble with falling asleep, enabling his readers to join the dragon Gladys in counting the proverbial sheep,” said Dr. Amy Sonheim, professor of English at Ouachita.
“I was brushing my teeth and the first line of the story simply came to me: ‘My teeth are all brushed! Eighty-seven; I counted!’” Dr. Utter said. “I began to chuckle at the thought of a little kid bragging pedantically about having not only brushed her teeth, but counted them as well.”
Not knowing what animal had so many teeth, Dr. Utter chose a dragon to tell his story. The book follows Gladys during her bedtime routine and her patient parents.
“What makes this particular project so much fun is that it has involved some wonderful friends, including Hannah [Lloyd Rosell], the illustrator, and Robert Hand, the publisher,” Dr. Utter said. “Robert is also an OBU alumnus and an old friend, and it has been a delight to work with his company, Bowen Press.”
Utter is a 2002 Ouachita graduate in English and political science. He earned his master’s degree in English from Wake Forest University in 2008 and completed his Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota in 2016.
Dr. Utter has served as a guest lecturer in residence at Yantai University in China and also has taught at the University of Minnesota and two community colleges in North Carolina. He was awarded a doctoral dissertation fellowship and the English Department’s Samuel Holt Monk Prize while he was at Minnesota.
“Dr. Utter is a man of many talents! We know he’s a fine Medieval scholar and teacher. Students love him. In addition, he podcasts reviews of kids’ movies and he edits Vital, an online journal devoted to the medical humanities,” said Dr. Doug Sonheim, chair of Ouachita’s Department of Language and Literature. “He tells a great bedtime story in ‘Gladys.’ When I first read ‘Gladys,’ I was first charmed, then a little scared, then, at the end a little sleepy. In a good way — it’s a bedtime story.”
Additionally, earlier this year, Utter helped organize the roundtable session, “Here I Am, Stuck in the Middle with You!” at the fifth biennial meeting of the BABEL Working Group in Reno, Nev. The BABEL Working Group is a global group of scholars, researchers, artists and others who are interested in creative risk-taking.
For more information, contact Dr. Benjamin Utter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5501 or visit http://bowenpressbooks.com/books/gladys-the-grayish-green-dragon/.
By Sarah Davis
December 15, 2017