Ice Cube Press

FractureTo tell the truth, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed this book - "Fracture: essays, poems and stories on fracking in america."  After all, it seems like a pretty dull subject. Turns out I was wrong about that! Taylor Brorby

This intriguing anthology was published by Iowa's own Ice Cube Press in North Liberty, a remarkable independent press which publishes books on how we can best learn to live in the Midwest.  (Here's a great article on Ice Cube from the Iowa Source.)

Our guest today is Taylor Brorby, coeditor with Stefanie Brook Trout, of "Fracture." Taylor is a much-published writer who is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University in Ames.

Soul ExternalWrites' Voices is pleased to once again welcome Steve Semken, founder of Ice Cube Press in North Liberty, Iowa, and author of "Soul External: Rediscovering the Great Blue Heron."  This book is a new breed, and difficult to describe.  The Ice Cube Press web site promises a "realm full of lore, hearsay, myth, and spirt." The late environmental book reviewer from Orion magazine, Peter Sauer, called it mythological natural history, and although apt, that is only a partial description.  Steve SemkenSemken mixes in memoir, philosophical meanderings, inspirational quotes, poetry, graphic design, experimental typography, and fine artworks from Andrew Driscoll.  The result?  Well, you'll have to see it for yourself.

Tune in this week for another journey into the world of books.

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    Jun 05
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    Jun 08
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Xavier Cavazos Tells George Washington Carver in Poem

Diamond Grove Slave TreeWhat do you know about George Washington Carver?  Not much, I'm willing to bet.  You might recognize the name.  Peanuts - he had something to do with peanuts didn't he?

You may not know that he was born into slavery and studied at Simpson College in Indianola Iowa and Iowa State University in Ames in the 1890's, or what it took for him to accomplish that. Carver was one of the most renowned scientists this country has ever known, and Xavier Cavazos brings this man to life using poetry that incorporates jazz improvisational techniques.Xavier Cavazos 

Cavazos is also an ISU alumnus.  He has been part of three national poetry slam teams, was selected by the Poetry Society America as a 2013 national Chapbook Fellow, and teaches writing and other subjects at Central Washington University.  ""Diamond Grove Slave Tree" was selected as the inaugural Ice Cube Press Prairie Seed Poetry Prize. Join us this week on Writers' Voices for a conversation on history, poetry, and more.

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    Jan 30
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    Feb 02
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"Swish, Swirl & Sniff" - Sensual Poetry from Sal Marici

Swish swirl sniff

 

This week on Writers' Voices, Monica and Caroline speak with poet Salvatore Marici, who splits his time beween the Quad Cities and Florida. Marici is the author of two poetry books from Ice Cube Press, of North Liberty, Iowa, a chapbook titled "Mortals, Nature and their Spirits" and the wildly sensual "Swish, Swirl & Sniff."

Travel with us through these poems to Salvatore's memories of the Amazon, Guatemala, Sicily and the Midwest.

Marici's work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including "Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland."  He was the 2010 Midwest Writing Center's poet-in-residence in Davenport, Iowa.

Ice Cube Press LogoTwenty years ago, Steven H. Semken founded Ice Cube Press, an independent publishing company operating out of North Liberty, Iowa.

To bolster its application to become an official City of Literature, Iowa City referred to Ice Cube Press and mentioned its focus on how to best live with the natural world and its interest in topsoil, Devonian fossil beds, landcape art, weather patterns, and prairies.

Over the years Ice Cube Press's mission has broadened; it now publishes novels, short stories, poetry, real-life murder mysteries, and children's books, as well as nature-focused fiction and nonfiction.

To learn how a lone entrepreneur built and sustains a thriving Midwestern small press, tune in to The Studio with Cheryl and Steven this week.

Miracle Boy Book CoverAuthor Patrick Irelan earned a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. He also studied poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop. For many years, Patrick wrote and edited educational materials for the university's Division of Continuing Education. His award-winning short stories have appeared in many regional publications, including Kansas Quarterly, Crosscurrents, Iowa City Magazine, and Wisconsin River Valley Journal. A versatile writer, Patrick has also authored two memoirs, Central Standard: a Time, a Place, a Family, published by the University of Iowa Press in 2002, and A Son of the Middle West, published by Ice Cube Press in 2006. Ice Cube Press also published Patrick's first collection of short stories, Reruns, in 2009, and has just released his second story collection, The Miracle Boy.

Ethel Barker's experEthel Barker at KRUUiences teaching remedial reading to Junior High students helped her recognize the need for books that educate while holding students' interest. In 1988 while reading an Iowa history magazine called The Palimpsest, she spotted an historic photo of three ragged boys asleep beside a trash pile on a New York City street.

The accompanying article, "The Orphan Train Comes to Clarion" triggered her interest in the orphan train movement and Iowa's involvement in it. Years of research and writing culminated in Ice Cube Press's recent publication of Ethel's debut juvenile novel, For the Love of Pete: An Orphan Train Story. Ethel will read from this book at Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City at 7 PM on November 15th.

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    Nov 25
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    Nov 28
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Bruce Hopkins discusses "When Foxes Wore Red Vests"

When Foxes Wore Red Vests

 

Writers' Voices welcomes environmental educator, writer and historian Dr. Bruce Hopkins to the show this week. Dr. Hopkins has written the book "When Foxes Wore Red Vests", a collection of essays, poetry, drawings and photographs that demonstrate how sense-of-place can serve as a role-model for future generations, as well as helping us learn how we can best live in our communities and with the natural world around us.

Dr. Hopkins career has included teaching in Nebraska, New York, and Iowa, and serving as chief administrator of an Iowa area education agency. Bruce’s life now centers on helping people of all ages connect with nature, a greater sense of community, and the literature of place.

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    Oct 14
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    Oct 24
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Robert Sessions on "Becoming Real"

Becoming RealPhilosopher Robert Sessions is our guest this week. His recent book, "Becoming Real: Authenticity in an Age of Distractions", uses personal stories and philosophical musings to discuss the way everyday distractions keep us from being ourselves. Robert believes that our modern culture makes it very difficult for us to develop a coherent identity. With quotes and examples from ancient wisdom to modern politics, Robert gives suggestions and points to paths that lead to more genuine and happy lives.

Robert is Professor of Philosophy & Humanities at Kirkwood Community College.

  • Fri
    Oct 08
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  • Mon
    Oct 11
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J. Harley McIlrath discusses "Possum Trot"

Possum TrotWriters' Voices welcomes Iowa author, J. Harley McIlrath, on this week's show. J. Harley McIlrath is the author of "Possum Trot", a new collection of short stories published by Ice Cube Press. J. Harley grew up on his family's farm near Newburg, Iowa and memories of that time surely helped inspire stories in this collection. Reflections and lament on a way of life that has almost disapeared form a theme that runs through this collection. A way of life that required most farm work to be done by hand and pest control done without chemicals. It is a book of laughter, sorrow, and hope.

J. Harley McIlrath is the assistant manager and book buyer for the Grinnell College Bookstore and the Pioneer Bookshop in Grinnell, Iowa. For ten years, he ran his own bookstore in Cedar Falls, Iowa.