Townships / Edition 1

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Overview

It would not seem so important for southern writers to justify writing about the South--that region is defined. Midwestern writers, however, must first define their region, inhabit it, so that writing about it through fiction and poetry will become as natural as it is for writers in other necks of the national world. Townships seeks to prepare the ground for that work, using the very ground itself as a starting place. Each contributor--the list includes Carol Bly, Marianne Boruch, Anthony Bukoski, Amy Clampitt, Susan Dodd, Stuart Dybek, Deborah Galyan, Joseph Geha, Paul Gruchow, James B. Hall, Susan Hauser, C. J. Hribal, Ellen Hunnicutt, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Howard Kohn, Philip Levine, Michael Martone, Susan Neville, Lon Otto, Michael J. Rosen, Scott Russell Sanders, Mary Swander, David Foster Wallace, Michael Wilkerson, and Ray A. Young Bear--has written about his or her specific township of childhood or a bordered region that defined a first notion of place in the world. Complementing this diversity in writer and subject are Raymond Bial's striking and evocative photographs, a visual essay that echoes the sensibility of the township with grace and precision. Townships establishes the Midwest as an important center of creativity, a region to be noted for more than corn and prairie and neat, square patches of land. The reverberations in sensibility that make their way through these essays speak to all midwesterners and to all those for whom a sense of place is a source of inspiration.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Midwest, says Martone (editor of A Place of Sense ), has never had a distinctive regional identity. To redress that situation, he invited 24 of the area's best writers to focus on its townships, six-mile-by-six-mile squares arbitrarily defined by government surveyors. Unfortunately, everything about this volume seems arbitrary. The editor decided by fiat which states composed the region (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa), and no unifying bond is ever revealed. As Martone himself asks, ``what links the autoworker in Detroit with the actuary in Des Moines?'' What does Ray A. Young Bear, writing poignantly about his tribe's creation myth, have in common with Anthony Bukoski relating his passionate attachment to the Superior Bay wetlands? What does Carol Bly, learning about a blond-haired Jesus in Duluth, share with Deborah Galyan, whose black high school teacher taught her about Joseph Conrad and about life in Bloomington, Ind.? The reader may recall Gertrude Stein's remark about Oakland, ``There is no there there.'' Photos by Raymond Bial not seen by PW. ( Feb. )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877453550
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1992
  • Series: Bur Oak Books Series
  • Edition description: 1ST ED.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 243
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Correctionville, Iowa: An Introduction 1
At the Edge of Town: Duluth, Minn. 14
The Quiet House 21
Water Plans 26
Providence 31
Rummage 38
You Can't Step into the Same Street Twice 43
Bloomington, Indiana, in Conrad's Light 48
Where I'm From--Originally 56
Rosewood Township 67
Jefferson Township: The Land That Made Me 83
When the Bough Breaks 92
The Landfill of Memory, the Landscape of the Imagination 95
Active Voice 109
Townline 117
Beaver Township, Bay County, Michigan 121
Entering Poetry 126
Quake 132
None of Us Went Back 140
The Township Argo 146
After the Flood 157
West of Eden 165
Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley 172
On Being out of Control, or How Townships Made Me a Pinko 192
In the First Place of My Life 198
Notes on Contributors 207
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