Tag: place

  • How Memory Lingers: Clint Smith’s How the Word is Passed

    How Memory Lingers: Clint Smith’s How the Word is Passed

    The year my grandfather was born, twenty-one people were lynched and no one heard a sound. The trees died and the soil turned over and the leaves baptized all that was left behind. (273) The fact that Clint Smith is also a poet does not make his recent book an easy read. How the Word […]

  • “Everything That Seems Empty is Full of Angels”: Remembering the Great Plains

    “Everything That Seems Empty is Full of Angels”: Remembering the Great Plains

    As it turns out, the Plains have been essential not only for my own growth as a writer, they have formed me spiritually. I would even say they have made me a human being. —Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (11) Kathleen Norris’s now-classic Dakota became a touchstone for me when I read it 25 […]

  • There is Still a ‘There’ There: The Atopian Dreams of Suzannah Lessard

    There is Still a ‘There’ There: The Atopian Dreams of Suzannah Lessard

    This review by Heartlands editor Alex Joyner originally appeared in the Eastertide 2019 print edition of the Englewood Review of Books  (now available) and is republished with permission. It’s quaint to live in a place like Parksley. Though the name refers to the original owner from whom the land for the town was bought, one Benjamin Parks, it […]

  • Little Houses and Big Truths on the Prairie: Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Little Houses and Big Truths on the Prairie: Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder

    It takes a lot of work to uncover what really happened to the vast prairies of the North American Midwest.  You have to dig under Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous 1890 declaration that the frontier had made America what it was and now it was gone.  Pioneer famers, Turner said, had busted sod, felled forests, and […]

  • Why We Don’t Care About ‘The National Water Situation’

    Why We Don’t Care About ‘The National Water Situation’

    “For all my love of rivers, ‘our nation’s rivers’ have not moved me once.  The rivers that move me are those I’ve fished, canoed, slept beside, lived on, nearly drowned in, dreamed about, sipped tea and wine by, taught my kids to swim in, pulled a thousand fish from, fought and fought to defend.  I’ve […]

  • Come Write at The Porches with Alex

    Come Write at The Porches with Alex

    Do you like where Heartlands goes–exploring the places that make the world rich and miraculous?  Would you like to develop that sense of place in your own writing? Then why not come to the first Heartlands writing weekend?  Located at The Porches Writing Retreat, in beautiful, secluded Norwood, Virginia–a site featured in a 2017 Heartlands […]

  • “S-Town” and the sordid underbelly of this American life

    This week I finished listening to “S-Town,” the latest buzzy podcast from the folks who brought us “This American Life,” and “Serial.”  Like a trip to the all-you-can-eat buffet, it was great while it lasted but made me feel various degrees of queasy when it was all over, and least of all because of all […]