Category: Driftless region

The Women’s March: here, there, and everywhere.

Saturday, January 21, 2017 It felt good to be out on our little town’s main street with a sign in my hand again, surrounded by my friends and students and – despite the chilly fog – determination and hope. As I describe in my forthcoming book, The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and […]

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In the country of frac-sand mining.

Yesterday, I took an all-day bus tour (sponsored by and including many Allamakee County Protectors) to see frac-sand mining up close in Trempeleau and Chippewa Counties, Wisconsin.  In our group were filmmakers, writers, lawyers, water-quality specialists, Winneshiek County Protectors, journalists, farmers, geologists, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a long-distance hiker, and ordinary citizens from […]

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Resilience.

Nine o’clock after my evening writing class in the community arts center and I’m coasting on my bike through the river bottoms, on my way home.  Not a sound but tire-slurp in mud, animals, birds.  Mist rises from the water.  A rustle in the grass becomes a garter snake, a long stripe with a darker […]

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Common ground: politics, water, and life.

Checking my email on what is going to be my last full morning in Alabama for a while, I found some very troubling news: fracking may be coming to our beautiful little corner of northeast Iowa. You might say it’s technically not fracking, since the proposed mine in Allamakee County would be for what’s called […]

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Pigs among the windfalls.

September, with the smell of fall caught and blowing around in the trees as Keats inevitably rustles inside my head: season of mists and mellow fruitfulness….  One afternoon I take a break from my massive sabbatical writing project — which features among other things Keats (of course), John Cage, Marina Abramovic, yoga, gardening, pottery, snails, […]

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Friendship, community, and sensory delight: now on sale.

Just back from an excursion to our local farmers market – amazing that because of travel and what-have-you, this was my first visit to the market this summer. As ever, I had a wonderful time greeting and talking with friends, exchanging local news (when will they replace the bridge on Happy Hollow Road? hope it’s […]

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Gardening in public.

Our little town’s gardening group has been buzzing after two of our members — following a neighbor’s anonymous complaint — were notified recently that they might be in violation of a city ordinance against gardening in the “boulevard,” the strip of grass between sidewalk and curb in front of most houses.  The issue: our members’ […]

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