The University Record, March 8, 1993

Physics technician has second career as poet, illustrator

By Rebecca A. Doyle

“I would like to be a poet,” says Les Thurston, “but what I end up writing is usually satire or parodies.”

But his audiences at the Turner Geriatric Clinic’s Monday writing group and at Guild House, where he read some of his work last week, wouldn’t change a word.

Thurston, who retired from the U-M in 1987 after 30 years in the Department of Physics, plans to publish Mixed Fruits, a collection of light verse, within a few months.

His experience in mechanical drawing and equipment design are reflected in the illustrations that accompany his witty verse.

While some of the poetry is reflective, much pokes fun at modern art, grocery shopping with coupons and scientific jargon. Recognizable University structures, as in the adjacent piece about the Alumni Memorial Hall (Museum of Art) sculpture, also have been subjected to Thurston’s sense of humor.