Volume V, Issue 1

This issue was the first to appear in our new static platform.


Roots Talk! Podcast Episode 5

by Eva Gemrich & Dru Greenwood

In Rootstalk’s fifth podcast, our audio producers talk with Prof. Brandi Janssen about the complexities of sustainable agriculture. Read more →


Jumping Into the Void

by Matt and Sarah Kargol

What does an artist do in a prairie town that doesn’t have an arts community? Matt and Sarah Kargol’s answer: make one. Read more →


Worthless Rocks

by John C. Whittaker

On any given outing on the prairie, you might just turn over an artifact from the country’s indigenous past. Or maybe not… Read more →

Editor's Note

We Contain Multitudes

by Mark Baechtel

In a community writing workshop, Rootstalk’s Editor discovered a small town’s true diversity. Read more →


A Place to Call Home

by Bridget Brandt

A “rubber band community” is one that, no matter how far away you go, you always want to come back. This retired teacher explains. Read more →


Two Poems

by Rodney Nelson

In this poet’s work the prairie’s weathers have an intimate connection to the landscape’s history. Read more →

Publisher's Note

It Takes a Village to Build an Issue

by Jon Andelson

What does “community” mean on the prairie? In this issue, we offer a mosaic of answers gleaned from the residents of one small town. Read more →


On the Changing Nature of the Obituary

by Mary Kay Shanley

Want to know how prairie culture has changed? Consult the obituaries in your local paper. Read more →


Pony Rides, Vice-Presidents and Weddings in the Rain

by Shirley Moyer

A farm is many things: a business, a home, a way of life. For this farmer, it was a thing to share with the whole town. Read more →


The Hottest Car in Town

by Allan Moyer

There was a time for this retired farmer when Saturday night in his small prairie town was a hot car and someone to race. Read more →


Two Poems

by Richard Luftig

Richard Luftig’s second appearance on our pages features an imagined road trip, and the solace of endurance in winter. Read more →

Photo Essay

What Do You Think Community Is?

by Kaitie Hess

What’s the best way to find out how “community” is defined where you live? Ask the local kids to make a mural. Read more →

Personal Essay

Healing the Smallest Casualty

by Randall Hotchkin

It’s a long way from Iraq’s battlefields to running a small town barbershop. But because of a little boy’s smile, maybe not so far at that. Read more →


Extraction, Roots, Energy, and The Plains

by Sebastian Braun

This scholar of Native American culture meditates on the meaning of roots, and the challenge to them represented by energy extraction. Read more →


Regan Golden

To depict ecological change in the American landscape, this artist brings together paints, drawing materials and altered photographs. Read more →

Book Review

Building The Agricultural City

by Fred Kirschenmann

This contributor, a soil scientist, environmental activist and farmer, reviews a new book offering a vision of rural prairie revival. Read more →


Mammals of the Prairie: American Bison, American Mink, Virginia Opossum and White-tailed Deer

by Bruce Leventhal and Ken Saunders II

In this issue we’re publishing a variation on our “Birds of the Prairie” feature. This time, it’s “Mammals of the Prairie.” Read more →


A Child’s First Taste of Freedom

by Sam Cox

A costume, a pillow case, a couple of friends, and a whole town to roam in: that was Halloween for this coffee shop owner. Read more →


Two Poems

by John Grey

The poet–an Australian transplant–takes on the autumn’s changeable weather and its effect on we who move through it. Read more →


My Integrated Life

by Dartanyan Brown

Musician, journalist, educator with a 40-year career in the arts–our contributor has folded together multiple extraordinary lives. Read more →


Little Prairie On The Freeway

by Cindy Crosby

Blake said we can see the universe in a grain of sand; can we see the prairie expanses of the past in a remnant on an Illinois highway? Read more →


Community, Commons, and Ecological Restoration at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

by Joshua Lockyer

How do we reverse the degradation of our prairie home by industrial ag? The residents of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage think they know. Read more →


Cheyenne Bottoms

by Alicia DeHaan

During the yearly migration, an astonishing forty-five percent of all North American shorebirds pass through this Kansas marsh. Read more →