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Dakota: Bones, Grass, Sky

Linda Hasselstrom

Dakota: Bones, Grass, Sky, a reprint of beloved South Dakota poet and writer Linda Hasselstrom’s Dakota Bones, including 50 new poems, reveals the breadth and scope of a keen poetic eye and sensibility, capturing the quotidian rhythms of multigenerational South Dakota ranch life. Hasselstrom’s is a muscular music sculpted by wind and marked by the percussion of hooves, rising into a powerful choir of plainsong. —Lee Ann Roripaugh, South Dakota Poet Laureate, Author of Dandarians

In Dakota: Bones, Grass, Sky, Linda M. Hasselstrom gifts us with vision rooted on the wind-swept high plains, reminds us of the connection between humans and nature in clear-eyed poems that wrestle with fear, regret, loss, gratitude, love, friendship, and the fragility of happiness. —Twyla M. Hansen, Nebraska State Poet, Author of Rock · Tree · Bird

 

 

The Book of Twos

 

Joseph Amato

In fascinating detail, Amato explores how the concept of twos—contrasts, comparisons, polarities, dualities and contradictions—has been fundamental to human thought from infant development to national identities.  In Amato’s telling, two becomes, literally, who we are.  His wide-ranging mind ranges across history, religion, art, philosophy, war, politics, and language. The book devotes significant space to essential figures who’ve considered those topics at length: Montaigne, William James and Isaiah Berlin. Here, too, are Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Dostoevsky, and Freud.  

 

Four Seasons West of the 95th Meridian

Nathaniel Lee Hansen

Nathaniel Lee Hansen’s poetry and fiction have appeared in The Cresset, Midwestern Gothic, Bluestem, Bryant Literary Review, The Evansville Review, and South Dakota Review, among others. He is Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where he serves as editor of Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature and director of the annual Windhover Writers’ Festival. He is also the founder and editor of the online literary quarterly, The Blue Bear Review. He lives with his wife and two children in Temple, Texas.

"Hansen’s poems deservedly join those of Frost and Kooser and Wright in telling us how earth and climate reflect our concerns, embodying all that is real and lasting." -- Joan Colby, author most recently of SELECTED POEMS (FutureCycle Press 2013)

 

Bouyancies: A Ballast Master's Log

Joseph Amato

"As a poet myself, I am very impressed with Joseph A. Amato’s poems. Many are keenly crafted, and some are masterful. He writes with grace and an ear for exact phrasing and metaphor. The subjects he now takes up in poetry are the ones he has long pursued in his prose works—faith, family, an exploration and understanding of place and home, war, immigrants, nature, old age and death. Focused on what is given and keeps us afloat in life, he concentrates on what he, the old ballast master, must keep in balance on a long and last journey. As always, Amato shows himself to be a writer of boundless knowledge and, more impressively, of boundless curiosity." -- Dana Yost, author of Grace and The Right Place

"Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay him, Joseph A. Amato, is this: he writes poetry like someone who has never written anything else." -- Michael Palma, author of Begin in Gladness and translator of Dante’s Inferno

 

A Higher Level

Dana Yost

“Dana Yost has written a classic story about college sports. Even though many people have never heard very much about the Southwest State University women's tennis team, this is a book that your readers will find as readable, entertaining, compelling, and even riveting. In my mind, this is one of the best sports books that I have read in a long time.”
—Jon Wefald, retired president of Southwest State and Kansas State Universities

“Dana Yost captures the unique and complete spirit not only of women’s athletics in general, but also brings life to a small close-knit rural community, a blossoming institution building a foundation based on tradition and a program filled with overachievers driven to buck the norm and succeed where success seemed impossible.  A Higher Level is indeed a book about a small-college tennis program, but its roots capture a period of great strides for women in athletics.  It also provides a look at a unique success story through the eyes of the people who were closest to it all.”
—Erin Lind, NSIC Associate Commissioner and former SSU women’s basketball player


 

Southwest Minnesota: A Place of Many Places


David Pichaske

This book's immediate predecessor drew on the writings of many southwest Minnesota authors to create a portrait of the land and its peoples. In Southwest Minnesota: A Place of Many Places Amato and Pichaske explore the region's rich culture in their own words. From Amato's analysis of regional lead cities like Worthington and New Ulm to Pichaske's meditations on smaller towns like Minneota, Slayton, and Hanley Falls, the authors examine the ways this region has reacted to the changes and challenges of the late twentieth century. Along the way, they explore tiny points of interest like baseball diamonds, coffee shops, cemeteries, and small-town ethnic celebrations. Extended essays like "A Meditation on Enclosed Space," and "Seen and Unseen Faces" offer penetrating reflections on the long arc of history in Southwest Minnesota and on the natural and constructed landscapes.

 

The Crow on the Golden Arches

Leo Dangel
(Read by Garrison Keillor on October 13, 2004, broadcast.)

These thirty-nine all-new poems represent Dangel's work since Home from the Field, and will probably be the poet's last book-length collection. They take Dangel in a more formalist direction - some are actually sonnets - reflecting the influence of poet Phil Dacey, Dangel's colleague at Southwest Minnesota State University. Older influences like Nebraska's Bill Kloeforn and Illinois' Dave Etter are also still visible, although in these poems, as in earlier work, Dangel has his own voice.

 

Neighborhood

Norbert Blei

They’re all here, exactly as you remember them. A butcher named Polacek, a baker named Vesecky. Doc Cermak, General Practitioner. Tony the Shoemaker, Shorty the Locksmith, Joey the Peddler. The ice cream man. The softball diamond and the roller rink. The neighborhood pub. The neighborhood theater. The old Sokol Slavsky gym, where you do gymnastics. St. Joseph’s, where the mass is still chanted in Latin. The Savings and Loan. The Bohemians. The Italians. The mushroom hunters, the wine makers.

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Winter Book

Norbert Blei

Winter Book is a mature performance with a satisfying sense of completion. The season is winter; the dominant theme is the acceptance of small wonders, including decay and obscurity. Like Blei himself, Winter Book is alternately nostalgic, angry, and amusing. It is in some respects a very public book, in others a very personal collection. The journalistic profiles are Blei’s own experiences and friends, including public figures like Chan Harris and Al Johnson, and Door County natives, poets, musicians, and artists. Blei’s fictions explore the Door landscape on a deeper level. Blei is an astute observer whose attitudes are shared by readers inside and outside the County. Once again the personal becomes the public, and Winter Book, like Door Way, records communal experience.  

 

Home from the Field

Leo Dangel

Leo Dangel’s language is simple and homespun, his characters are recognizable and down home, his world is the perfect image of southwestern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. While Dangel’s poetry invites comparison with that of Dave Etter and William Kloefkorn, his work is unique in its wry understatement, vivid scenes, restrained feeling, fond tolerance for eccentricity, and vestigial prairie populism. Among his poetic characters, Old Man Brunner and Arlo loom especially large as archetypal curmudgeonous bachelor farmer and callow farm lad respectively.

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Essential Dave Etter

Dave Etter

The Essential Dave Etter is the distillation of a career which began in 1966 with the publication of Go Read the River and ran through hundreds of published poems, two dozen books, numerous awards, and translations in German, Polish, and Japanese. The Essential Dave Etter contains the essence of an essential American poet, one who has influenced virtually every younger rural Midwestern poet. Priced for use as a textbook in workshops and writing classes, high school to college, this introduction to Etter’s work exhibits his range of voice, material, and technique.

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Looking for Sheena Easton

Dave Etter

In his newest collection, this prolific Illinois poet explores new possibilities in structure and form, and reminds us again of his art’s ties to the techniques of jazz and popular culture. The old Etter ear for spoken idiom is everywhere evident, as are the poet’s ties to his Midwest place.

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Evil Corn

Adrian Louis

This collection of hard-edged prose poems takes no prisoners. Louis walks the tightrope between the sacred and the profane with humor, anger, and compassion, all dispensed with a startling clarity of vision. These poems, written from 1999 to 2004, derive from Louis's self-imposed exile in the rural deadlands of southwestern Minnesota.

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Fielding Imaginary Grounders

William Kloefkorn

This manuscript, publication of which was delayed by Sergeant Patrick Gass, dates to the late 1990s. It belongs to Kloefkorn’s explorations of his personal and shared history in small-town Kansas, revisiting and expanding material that will be familiar to readers of his two memoirs This Death by Drowning, Burning the Imaginary Child, and earlier collections of poetry. The poems, filled with Midwest idiom and cadences, favor the three- and four-line stanza with which Kloefkorn is so adept.

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Sergeant Patrick Gass

William Kloefkorn

In Sergeant Patrick Gass, Chief Carpenter: On the Trail with Lewis & Clark Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn recounts the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition, 1803-1806, St. Charles to the Pacific Ocean and back. He bases his poems on the long out-of-print journal kept by Sergeant Gass. “I’m attracted to the sergeant’s poetic grasp of understatement,” Kloefkorn writes in his preface, “to his love of timber, to his capacity for loyalty—not only to the expedition as both a military unit and a family, but likewise to his hatchet and his flask, both of them returning intact to St. Louis with the man who nurtured and protected them.

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Tale of the White Crow

Iveta Melnika

Tale of the White Crow is a compelling coming-of-age memoir, recounted in diary format, set in Riga, Latvia, in the 1990s. The book takes its name from the author’s (typically adolescent) sense that she does not “fit in,” and her oft-repeated desire to change from a “white crow” into . . . not a beautiful swan, but just a normal black crow like her schoolmates. Naturally, Iveta turns into the loveliest of lovely swans, but the journey takes her through a couple of schools plus the University of Latvia, through various adventures and misadventures with friends male and female, through the death of her father, through baptism into and escape from the American-based “International Church of Christ,” and through several near-disasters in Russian disco clubs.

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Southwest Minnesota:The Land and Its People

David Pichaske

Southwest Minnesota: the Land and the People, a 128-page coffee table book, is a portrait of the region in photographs and the words of Robert Bly, Carol Bly, Phil Dacey, Leo Dangel, Hamlin Garland, Paul Gruchow, Jim Heynen, Bill Holm, Garrison Keillor, Meridel Le Sueur, Frederick Manfred, Joseph Nicollet, Tim O’Brien, Ole Rolvaag, Barton Sutter, Southwestern Minnesota is a haunting landscape marked by rich farmlands, forgotten villages, patches of vestigial prairie and slough, surprising rivers and wooded rills . . . and, everywhere in the countryside these days, signs of abandonment and depopulation. The photographs in this book are elegiac, and many of the texts—written by some of the region’s and the nation’s most respected writers—reflect upon an issue best expressed by Frost: “what to make of a diminished thing.”

Historian Joseph Amato has argued that the Minnesota countryside is presently undergoing a reconfiguration as profound as the original land-taking a century ago. At such a juncture self-assessment is especially helpful. Who are we? Where have we come from? What is our history? What are our roots? What crises have we weathered? What resources remain?

More about Southwest Minnesota >>

 

 

UB03

David Pichaske

This book about Outer Mongolia was written and printed in Ulaanbaatar, Outer Mongolia. It thus truly embodies its subject. However, the true uniqueness of UB03 (Ulaanbaatar 2003) is that is an unsentimental, unromanticized portrait of a country which is still the edge of the known, looking out at the unknown. From the photo of a ger district on the front cover to the photo of the author, herder, and camel on the back cover, and through 150 pages of words and four-color photos, Pichaske describes the Mongolia he experienced on his Fulbright lectureship at National University.

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The Right Place

Dana Yost

 

"There are heroes and there are casualties in this book, and sometimes it may not be easy to tell them apart. At other times, both labels may fit the same person. Some of the essays and poems in the book may be uplifting or inspiring. Others may not. I write about accomplishments, artists, friends, nature, and faith, but I also write about death, illness, and economic failure.

Why can't I pick one or the other -- happy or downbeat? The reason is simple enough; life itself isn't about one or the other. A wholly engaged life is going to bring us all sorts of emotions, experiences, and lessons. What we make of them, and what they make of us, is what our lives end up being about." -- Dana Yost

"The Right Place shows how life is never easy in the Upper Midwest, and how there are people committed to the area." -- Marshall Independent

"Dana has wirtten a very nice, insightful book. Lee [Egerstrom] and I are both struck by his understanding of people and place." -- John Van Hecke, Minnesota 2020.

 
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