SOLDIERS GROVE - The Soldiers Grove Library will host a book event with the editors of ‘Driftless Reader,’ Keefe Keeley and Curt Meine, on Saturday, April 14, at 5 p.m.
In addition to the two authors of the Reader, the event will also feature readings and artwork by authors featured in the book. Thebook will also be available for sale.
The Driftless Area is an oasis of hills, valleys and ridges in a region of the country known for its expansive, seemingly never-ending flatness. Covering southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northwestern Illinois and northeastern Iowa, the Driftless Area is a geologically and geographically remarkable part of the Midwest.
Authors Keeley and Curt Meine co-edited an anthology called "The Driftless Reader." The book collects dozens of impressions of the Driftless Area over three centuries through short stories, poems, geological surveys, songs, newspaper articles and more.
The book tracks the history of the Driftless Area, starting with its pre-human geological formation and ending with a look into the future. It includes famous names like Henry David Thoreau, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mark Twain and John Muir, but also brings to light the voices of loggers, raftsmen, soldiers and explorers.
"We tried to paint as varied a portrait as we could by bringing together voices that showed all aspects of the Driftless," Keeley said.
Here are some of the excerpts included in the anthology:
Ben Logan: "The Land Remembers: The Story of a Farm and its People"
Logan left the farm as a teenager to go to college, served in World War II and eventually came back to the Driftless region and reacquired his family farm. First published in 1975, "The Land Remembers" is Logan’s account of growing up on a farm called Seldom Seen in southwestern Wisconsin.
"He was compelled in his 50s to write this memoir of growing up on this farm. He could not, as he said, 'leave the land behind.' He’s living in New York when he’s writing this, and you can really see how he’s using that story to come to terms with his own life. And then late in life, trying to use his experience of the Driftless landscape to find his peace, really," Meine said.