The 2021 NDSU Press Party had presentations from Denise Lajimodiere, Paul Legler, Carolyn Dahl, and the friends and family of Timothy Murphy. The NDSU Press Party provides an annual presentation from the authors who published with NDSU Press each year and is held the first Thursday in March.
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FEATURED BOOKS AND AUTHORS
In Plains Sight | Bonnie Larson Staiger
In a rich yet often austere setting of the Great Plains, Bonnie Larson Staiger’s second poetry collection–In Plains Sight–brings those realities into full view through the lens of the prairie ethos. In moments when the natural world confounds the objective and logical world, she brings us into an encounter with a coyote, a sub-zero walk after a blizzard, or a humorous swipe at a fast-food restaurant.
Last Poems | Timothy Murphy
As described by the collection editor, poet and translator Catherine Chandler, Last Poems is a veritable journal intime, albeit one that Timothy Murphy wished to share with his readers. In his unmistakable voice, and often in stark language almost too painful to read, Tim chronicles his physical, spiritual, and emotional life during his final months, beginning on the day of his cancer diagnosis in early January 2018, through his various treatments, and ultimately his decision to withdraw from clinical trials. . . . Let [Last Poems] be my Last Will and Testament, Murphy writes in “Envoi.” And so it is. Last Poems bears witness—with grace, grit, and gratitude—to the life and loves of this major North American poet.
The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays between Exile & Belonging | Debra Marquart
Fans of Debra Marquart’s landmark memoir, The Horizontal World, will rejoice over the publication of The Night We Landed on the Moon—shapeshifting essays that travel from the blizzardy Midwest to sweltering Siberia, from a flooding Michigan basement to the panic-inducing Paris Catacombs, from her life as a rebellious farmer’s daughter to hard rock musician to professor and poet laureate. Every page is full of story and insight, laced with wit, as Marquart meditates on the hungers of home and wanderlust, the way her Germans-from-Russia family is “preserved in their hyphenations,” the poetic strangeness of basketball, the insidiousness of fracking boomtowns, and the ironies of a nostalgia called heimat. The individual essays are astonishing, the collection as a whole profound.” —K. L. Cook, author of Marrying Kind and The Art of Disobedience
A Field Guide to Custer’s Camps: On the March to the Little Bighorn | Don Weinell
Dust off your bicycle, or muddy it up, however you prefer to hit the trail. Don Weinell, a long-distance bicyclist, biked the trail described in A Field Guide to Custer’s Camps: On the March to the Little Bighorn, keeping a log of his experiences and GPS locations, which inform this travel narrative. Weinell’s on-the-ground method of exploring history puts him in contact with the elements, the terrain, and the physical demands of cross-country travel. For readers not quite ready to don rain jackets, cold- and hot-weather wear, or snakebite kits, this field guide is the next best thing to following the trail in person.
Prairie Madness | Katherine Hoerth
About a year ago, Katherine Hoerth moved to Nebraska from Texas; her poems chronicle the experience of adjusting to life on the Great Plains amid the isolation and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The term “prairie madness” feels, Hoerth observes, particularly fitting as it was once used to describe the “madness” of women pioneers of Nebraska and Kansas who endured extreme isolation.
Prairie Madness is the sixth volume of our Poetry of the Plains & Prairies letterpress chapbook series. Each copy is unique, with hand-assembled pressed flowers.
The Trouble with Daydreams: Collected and New Poems | Mark Vinz
An icon of literary culture on the northern plains, Mark Vinz observes the details—be they dreary or delightful—of real life. Through concise language and powerful imagery, he conveys his memories, marked more by the present than the past, with clarity and affection.
We Are Called . . . To Do the Right Thing: A Practical Guide for Leaders Based on Personal Reflections & Experience from a Longtime Higher Education Leader | Prakash Mathew
Prakash Mathew’s debut guide on leadership offers a compelling invitation to principled leadership with prudent and practical habits, gleaned from his almost four decades of student affairs work in higher education. We Are Called illustrates lessons in leadership with stories from a life well lived. Expounding on his 80/20 Principle, Prakash provides a plan for doing the right things for the right reasons.
We Are Called is of interest to leaders in higher education institutions (public and private), business leaders and organizations, religious organizations, start-up companies, search firms, and any organization seeking a change process, and as a training resource for boards, councils, and commissions.
Price Per Barrel: The Human Cost of Extraction | Robin Lynn Behl
First responders, once called to duty, refuse to abandon their posts, even when their towns change around them. They rise far and above their job descriptions, putting aside their own PTSD until the boom is over. But the trauma they endure at the hands of newcomers and outsiders is real, persistent, and contagious. Emergency response is the kind of work that will change a person, the kind of work that leaves an indelible mark. Each person in that profession finds some way to cope with the horrors of mankind. Or, they don’t survive.
Robin Lynn Behl’s means of coping was to drive. For years, she drove long distances across the country, across the continent, until she had seen all fifty states and every province in Canada. Her years on the road included six months living in her truck and talking to the people on the front lines. Along the way, she ran into friends–her brothers and sisters—in the badge. She found the other people who were still doing the work she had done, and they started to tell her their stories. By telling their story, she can tell hers, and maybe be rid of the burdens.
A Song for Liv | Wayne Gudmundson
“A Song for Liv by Wayne Gudmundson is a love letter to his daughter, Liv. Serendipitously, the modern Nordic name Liv also means ‘life.’ As well as a gift to his daughter, A Song for Liv, is a personal meditation on place, the search for personal and ethnic identity, and the complexities therein, much of which is located in the mists (and myths) of time with only the ancient landscapes of those stories remaining. Combining travel notes, Icelandic history and lore, and family relationships, Gudmundson’s form here—best characterized as hybrid—weaves a tapestry that is at once inviting and accessible, each page entry a stanza-like lyric of the larger song.”
—Thom Tammaro, three-time Minnesota Book Award recipient and author of When the Italians Came to My Home Town and Italian Days & Hours
“Written as a gift from a father to his daughter, A Song for Liv gathers up what wisdom and understanding a father can offer. His story begins its search for ancestral places in the Faroe Islands, where Gudmundson explores his investment in the larger Scandinavian world, having claimed a portion of the Faroes as his own. The narrative of the Norse invasion of Scandinavia continues on through Iceland to Canada to the settlement of Gimli, Manitoba, and from there to a small church in North Dakota, the home of Gudmundson’s grandparents and the protean poet K.N., whose spirit hovers over the entire narrative.”
—David Arnason, writer, professor, and Viking from Gimli, Manitoba
from our friends at North Dakota State University Relations…
The annual NDSU Press Party, scheduled for Thursday, March 4, will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, now in its 6th year, will feature readings by four NDSU Press authors and a presentation by the NDSU Press cover designer.
Participants are asked to register.
NDSU Press publisher Suzzanne Kelley is set to begin the party at 7 p.m.
“We’ll miss our Cat Sank Trio musician friends and the delicious hors d’oeuvres from NDSU Catering, but we’ll relish the opportunity to hear our authors share their inspirations for—and some passages from—their newest publications,” Kelley said. “Attendees will learn the secret code for discount prices and we’ll interrupt the program briefly for some giveaways, too.”
Her welcome will be followed by readings presented by:
• Denise Lajimodiere, who wrote “His Feathers Were Chains”
• Paul Legler, who wrote “Half the Terrible Things”
• Jamie Trosen, graphics artist, will give a talk on book cover design
• Carolyn Dahl, who wrote a book of poetry titled “A Muddy Kind of Love”
• Timothy Murphy’s family and friends will read from his book “Hiking All Night”
The NDSU Press Party is expected to conclude about 8:30 p.m.
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