Non-Fiction

Essays

Third World Water
What do residents of rural Tanzania, Flint, MI, and Kewaunee County, WI have in common? Undrinkable water. "Third World Water" connects their stories. Published in The Chaffin Journal, 2018. Excerpt
Fire and Time
A personal and historical exploration of Midwest prairie fires and their role in land management from pre-settlement to present day. Published in Midwestern Gothic, Winter 2018. Excerpt
Letter to a Young Borrelia Burgdorferi
A brief address to the Lyme bacteria, "Letter to a Young Borrelia Burgdorferi" appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of the Seneca Review. Excerpt
Good Neighbors
When beavers came between us and a farmer up the road, we knew something more was at stake. Published in The American Scholar, Winter 2017. Excerpt
Shelter and Storm
This essay, in the Summer 2015 issue of The Southern Review, braids the story of Woody Guthrie's recently rediscovered novel, House of Earth, with our experience of building a mud-brick home, which, like the characters in Guthrie's novel, we imagined would shelter us from economic and environmental storms. Excerpt
Perpetual Outsider
Part of a collection to benefit Wildlifenation.org, this essay describes what happened when I bicycled through a pack of wolves in northern Minnesota and examines the status of wolves in the upper Midwest. Excerpt
Blowdown
When a tornado tears through a beloved landscape, is it possible to just let nature heal itself? Published in The American Scholar, Autumn 2010. Excerpt
In Case of a Famine: Stalking the Wild Groundnut
How did a vital, indigenous food source, well-known to Thoreau and Native Americans, become just another weed? Published in Orion, November-December 2007. Excerpt
Saving My Breath
After a negligent doctor's prescriptions caused a life-threatening overdose, I stopped complying blindly with doctors' orders and pursued health on my own terms. Published in Creative Nonfiction, Issue 33, Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives, November 2007. Excerpt
Knowing the Soil
What can we learn about history, botany, family, and neighbors by examining our soil? Published in Sustainable Eating, May 2006. Excerpt
Building Practice
An essay about building with straw bales. Published in Spring Wind, August 2005. Excerpt