Going Driftless: Life Lessons from the Heartland for Unraveling Times

Going Driftless: Life Lessons from the Heartland for Unraveling Times

by Stephen J. Lyons

Paperback(First Edition)

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Something truly fascinating is afoot in a region of the Upper Midwest commonly known as the Driftless that runs counter to many of the trends in the rest of the nation and just might be blueprint for the future of a downsized United States. Covering parts of four states—Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota—that share a shoreline with the Mississippi River, the Driftless area was spared the glacial activity that leveled the rest of the Midwest landscape. What is left is a common culture of tucked away hills and valleys, where small-scale farming, a respect and love of nature, and close-knit community are a way of life.

A seasoned journalist known for his nuanced reporting, Stephen J. Lyons tells the stories of the Driftless through the colorful and unforgettable voices of residents who defy easy characterizations and lazy narratives. Readers will meets seed savers, off-the-gridders, birders, farmers, musicians, artists, and writers, all who share a common bond in a separate nation called the Driftless.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762780655
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/2015
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,083,873
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Stephen J. Lyons is the author of A View from the Inland Northwest: Everyday Life in America (Globe Pequot) and Landscape of the Heart (Washington State University). He is two-time recipient of a fellowship in prose writing from the Illinois Arts Council and has published articles, reviews, essays, and poems in numerous anthologies and publications, including Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Salon, and High Country News. He lives in Monticello, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Going Driftless: An Introduction vii

Part I Territories 1

1 The Driftless Region 3

2 Savanna, Illinois 11

3 Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 18

4 Mississippi River 34

Part II Sustenance 50

5 Rural Hillsboro, Wisconsin 52

6 Decorah, Iowa 59

7 Near La Crescent, Minnesota 69

8 Elgin, Minnesota 75

9 Canoe Creek, Iowa 79

10 Near Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin 83

11 Heritage Farm, Iowa 89

12 Northeast Iowa 102

Part III Communities 112

13 Richland Center, Wisconsin 114

14 Springwater Village, Iowa 125

15 Dancing Waters Permaculture Co-operative, Wisconsin 135

16 Zephyr and Wiscoy Valley Land Cooperatives, Southeast Minnesota 141

17 Viroqua, Wisconsin 150

18 Decorah, Iowa 159

19 Postville, Iowa 170

20 Winona, Minnesota 180

21 Ryumonji Zen Monastery, Near Dorchester, Iowa 188

Gratitude 193

Notes 195

Bibliography 208

Index 211

About the Author 220

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Going Driftless: Life Lessons from the Heartland for Unraveling Times 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a resident of the Driftless Region, I was fascinated by the hidden gems (people and places) I had not visited and I want to hop in my camper and find them all next summer. I now understand in words what I have been living and feeling as a resident who chose to move here and build my retirement home on my farm. What a kinship I participate in! A non-resident reader will be intrigued to see what this subculture can bring to the rest of America. I do believe there's a bit of driftlessness in each of us and finding a place that can bring that out and celebrate it is a gift. Thank you Stephen Lyons for taking great care to portray an American treasure.