Personal Essay
Local History

On Wednesdays, when Shirley Springer’s dad shut the door of the drugstore in Garwin, Iowa, the best part of the week was about to begin.
by Frank Heath
Personal essay

Climate change isn't just a challenge for science; for this writer it poses a challenge to soul and spirit, too.
by Cornelia F. Mutel
Memoir

For farmers like Howard McDonough, memory packs every acre and outbuilding.
by Howard McDonough
Essay

This rancher used his diary to envision a brighter future on the land for his children.
by Pete Ferrell
Commentary

Where's the prairie? Is it an untouched remnant? A farm landscape? A freshly mowed suburban yard? Our correspondent says "yes."
by Thomas Dean
Essay

As a child in Sioux City, Iowa,, Jason Darrah's heroes were garbage men. Now he is one.
by Jason Darrah
Memoir

In this memoir, the writer, formerly a bus driver for Iowa State University, chronicles a day in his life. It wasn't always a happy ride.
Memoir

When things change, do they always change for the better? See what you think after reading this memoir of a one-room Missouri schoolhouse.
by Helen Johnson
Memoir

A young writer fresh out of college; a Nebraska horse farm; a wild-west show reunion. A memoir by Dan Weeks.
by Dan Weeks
Editor's note

For our Associate Editor, the prairie came home hardest through a sky full of stars.
by Emily Mamrak
Essay

Last summer, native Californian Mary Rose Bernal "farm-sat," and found country life hard, sweaty, itchy and surprisingly...happy.
by Mary Rose Bernal
Editor's note

This Washington State native discusses the way the prairie got past her skepticism and carved itself into her heart and mind.
by Madeline Warnick
Personal essay

Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander lives in a converted country schoolhouse. She decided a schoolhouse needs a bell, and a belltower.
by Mary Swander
Editor's note

Our other editor for this issue, a native of New York state, also unlearned many of her prejudices before she came to treasure the prairie.
by Emma Thomasch
Essay

What's an East Coast transplant to do when she doesn't feel she fits in the Midwest? Fill a car with friends and head for Davenport, Iowa.
by Tracy Harris
Personal essay

An anthropologist meditates on his relationship to these slow residents of the prairie.
by John C. Whittaker
Essay

Grief is this writer's companion as he drives from Red Wing, Minnesota, to Minneapolis.
by Damian Johansson
Personal essay

Mary Swander's Amish neighbor, Joe, places her new belltower over the entryway of her Amish schoolhouse/home.
by Mary Swander
Essay

Where can you find the essential Iowa? Not in a single place, as this writer found, on the road with his father and a van full of friends.
by Colin Lewis-Beck
Essay

In this essay, a Georgia-based writer shares her introduction to the prairie's wild beauty.
by Mariah Manoylov
Personal essay

With the bell and belltower in place, Mary Swander can summon the neighbor children for pie...
by Mary Swander
Essay

Our first contributor from Canada tells how a piece of prairie history was preserved in northern Alberta.
by Jennifer Mueller
Local History

Anthropologist Don Janzen examines his own background in his essay about his father's homesteading childhood in early 20th century Kansas.
by Don Janzen
Local History

How could a hunk of rock buried on a college campus have so much history attached to it? This woodworker/amateur historian tells us.
by Byron Hueftle-Worley
Essay

When you move into an old house in a small town, you inherit that house's history and, sometimes, its former residents.
by Sam Pérez
Memoir

When this Minnesota writer's family farm became a regional park, she kept her family memories.
by Michele Brennhofer
Essay

A small-town restaurant is where the local foods movement gets real.
by Ann P. Hall
Personal essay

While writer Betty Moffett's husband Sandy works at prairie restoration, she cultivates a different kind of relationship with the land.
by Betty Moffett