Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction

Anne-Marie Oomen (Editor) Stephanie Mills (Contribution by)
& 22 more
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Product Details

$19.99  $18.39
Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
November 05, 2018
5.9 X 0.7 X 8.9 inches | 0.85 pounds
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About the Author

Anne-Marie Oomen is author of Love, Sex, and 4-H, House of Fields, Pulling Down the Barn, and Uncoded Woman, among others. She teaches at Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College, Interlochen's College of Creative Arts, and at conferences throughout the country.


Michigan's population surpasses Jamaica and Ireland combined, and Anne-Marie Oomen showcases the Marlon Jameses and James Joyces of this land by gifting readers with stunning pieces by the likes of Ari L. Mokdad and Rochelle Riley-two names that should be household and heart-held, just like this collection. In the anthology, Michigan is described as two gloves, but unmentioned is what those two gloves are holding: the answer is literary talent.-- (09/26/2018)
This collection is not a love letter to Michigan. The writers are not sparing in their complaints of the brutal winters, the bad deeds of their neighbors, or the potential isolation of deeply rural living, but they also warmly and generously sing the praises of Michigan's natural beauty, its striving toward diversity, and its residents' tenacity and goodness. Oftentimes, Michigan is a backdrop to these essays, and its presence-like the slant of autumn light over the woods-throws light and shadow through the leaves.-- (09/26/2018)
I found this collection to be stunning and broadly illustrative of what I believe is the great theme of Midwestern literature: namely the drama one feels between believing you are in the heart of the country while feeling that you are in the middle of nowhere. This book collects the suppressed angst of the lake effect and the subtle sublime ecstasy of the island of the inland sea.-- (09/26/2018)
The magic of this anthology-aside from the quality of each essay-is the way in which these distinct and individual voices coalesce, montage-like, into a single defining declaration of what it means to fully embrace and celebrate a place and its inhabitants-human and nonhuman-in such a reckless and troubled time. The spirit of this book resonated days later, like pure song.-- (09/26/2018)
The essays in Elemental-full of the form's associative genius-are rooted in the ways of Michigan, the physical and emotional geography, approached from a remarkable array of angles. The reader comes to see Michigan as an unrepentant gateway to all manner of universes-ecological, personal, political, and geological, among others. All the writing sparkles and engages; all the writing evokes actualities that, as the title indicates, emanate from the dearly prized earth.-- (09/26/2018)
Loren Eisley was surely right when he said, 'If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water'-and ditto for the magic that inheres in these pages of Elemental that explores, contemplates, and celebrates the great freshwater state of Michigan that is utterly like no other place on earth. In a time of drought and mayhem, what a gift and reminder that this beautiful place surrounded by water gives voice to such powerful writers.-- (09/26/2018)
The writing here is nothing less than brilliant. The essays are expertly crafted and discerningly selected to complete this compilation, showcasing the Mitten State and all that is good -- and sometimes challenging -- here.-- (11/01/2019)