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Jane Greer writes from North Dakota.
The new book's premise is intriguing. It's 1961. Elderly Scottish professor Georgina Fletcher leaves an Oxford pub with a tall, argumentative American.
Imagine, if you will, a residential street in Madison, Wisconsin, where every neighbor is a member of the university faculty. Is this a metaphor for Hell
It was an editor's dream: poems of this caliber, unsolicited and unexpected, in my post office box. The verse was assertive, muscular, practiced but never unsurprising. Who was this man?
Leo Widicker farms outside Bowdon, North Dakota. Last winter, Widicker had a quarter section—160 acres—that was badly wind-eroded from several dry summers and snowless winters during which there was no ground cover.
On our Disneyland day, the first time for all of us, we rose at 6 A.M. to be sure to get there early, as we'd been warned to do. We showered, dressed, wolfed a donut in the Comfort Inn lobby, and proceeded to our Hyundai, parked in back.
A roundtable of writer's share good news.
A friend says her secret wish is for some very old distant relative, who she's never met and won't miss, to die and leave her a fortune. Waiting for rain this summer is a lot like that—only less realistic.
It's gone just about too far this time. In the past year, North and South Dakota were included in a group of states described as "America's Out back" by Newsweek.
Last year I wrote about the Poppers, Frank and Deborah, the Rutgers University husband-wife duo who theorized that the Great Plains—from Texas to North Dakota and from Oklahoma to Denver—were fit to be nothing more than a "Buffalo Commons."
Two years ago, because it felt inevitable and right, I took the happy leap of faith that I had been approaching for years and became a Catholic. The reasons why are perhaps fodder for another letter at another time.
It's the little things—not the front-page disclosures—that suggest to us that we've been had. Take, for instance, a 1987-88 study by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
It's bound to happen. As the prodigal metropolises east and west of North Dakota accumulate garbage, after they've tried and failed at recycling and incineration, they're going to want to put that garbage somewhere—stuff it where it won't offend a constituent or blemish a perfect urban concrete-scape.
The first "Zip to Zap," or "Zap-In," made headlines around the world, in places as different as Pakistan and Russia, to say nothing of Washington and Miami.
There I was, nearly 36, being paid to do mundane work (but not paid nearly enough), unable to finish any of the large writing projects I'd been working at, and victim of a series of professional disappointments. This was a far cry from the international literary fame I'd envisioned at age 19.
For some reason (perhaps God knows why) I recently started receiving packets of postcard advertisements from Media Management's Ministry: Values for Growing Churches. "Dear Pastor," the top card began.
Elsewhere, life is predictable: the State Legislature wants a raise, Khomeini wants someone dead. Tiny Tim is running for mayor of New York, and Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith are pregnant, ecstatic about it, and planning to move up the date of their second marriage to each other.
In America, we can judge the significance of an event by the pre-maturity and questionable taste of the memorabilia it spawns.
It took millennia for North Dakota soil to acquire what nutrients it has (and they're substantial) in the Red River Valley along the eastern border, the silt-rich bottom of huge prehistoric Lake Agassiz. It took only a hundred years or so for man to nearly deplete it.
Fun for the whole family, the ad for the movie said. (I was relieved to know that it wasn't zany or lafF-packed, although later I would have settled for that.)
According to a 1985 study cited by Writer's Digest Books, 23.3 percent of all people who think of themselves as writers—or "more than two million people"—write poetry for publication.
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