• Fri
    Aug 22
    1:00 pm -
    2:00 pm
  • Mon
    Aug 25
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Digging "Prairie Gold"

Prairie GoldOnce again, Writers' Voices welcomes voices from our favorite small press, Ice Cube Press, founded in North Liberty Iowa by former guest Steve Semken to feature literary writing from the Midwest.  So it is no wonder that Steve published this treasure, "Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland."

Whether you prefer prose or poetry, fiction or non, short or long, you will find it all here, with each piece shining a separate light on one of the myriad of ways that Midwesterners define themselves.

"Prairie Gold" was spun into whole cloth by the collaboration of three writers with close ties to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa: Stefanie Brook Trout, an English instructor and MFA student, Lance M. Sacknoff, whose literary work focuses on environmental criticism, and poetry teacher Xavier Cavazos.  Trout and Sacknoff will be joining us this week on Writers' Voices.

Ice Cube PressSharing, creating and learning since 1993, Ice Cube Press
books have specialized in Midwestern stories about the world in which we live. Sometimes this means examining the wild and the natural, sometimes we must pay attention to the social, the human, even the reptilian.

Who and what have helped us evolve in our place? ICP books tread deeply into new ideas such as living with topsoil, exploring tornadoes, blizzards, sometimes digging down to Devonian fossil beds. At other times ICP books explore humor, or landscape art. Whether it’s weather patterns, food, or prairies.

Ice Cube Press has earned a number of awards, including A Kansas Book Award, A Midwest Connections Pick and the Radish Magazine Award. ICP has worked closely with groups such as Humanities Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council.

Writers' Voices welcomes Ice Cube Press publisher Steve Semken to Writers' Voices, this Friday, March 6 at 1pm.


Thomas Dean“A beautifully written memoir . . . a moving journey through the author's personal life and its continual relationship to the landscape he accepts and honors.” -

Thomas Dean is a writer and editor with a deep interest in our connections to place, our relationship with the natural world, and the cultural life of the Midwest. A pushcart Prize nominee, Dean has recently published a book of personal essays, Under a Midland Sky (Ice
Cube Press, 2008). This collection focuses on Midwesters life through the experience of seasons, weather, and other phenomena in the sky, exploring Dean's personal efforts at finding home, as well as ruminations on what it means for all of us to seek a sense of place.

Dean earned a Ph.D. in English from The University of Iowa. He received an M.S. in English, a B.A. in English, and a B.M. in Music History and Literature from Northern Illinois University, graduating summa cum laude. He also completed doctoral work in English and film studies at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Study Grant and and grant awards from the Michigan Humanities Counsil, the Minnesota Humanities Center, the North Dakota Humanities Counsil, and Humanities Iowa.