Ozarks RFD: Selected Essays, 2010 - 2015

Jim Hamilton (Author) Phillip Howerton (Editor)


Ozarks RFD is a collection of essays written by a popular Ozarks newspaper columnist reflecting on life in rural Missouri. Topics include such things as weather events, childhood memories, grief and loss, continual evolution of place, old cars, old dogs, holiday rituals, and family and community.

Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
Cornerpost Press
Publish Date
March 01, 2020
6.0 X 0.61 X 9.0 inches | 0.88 pounds
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About the Author

Jim Hamilton was brought up on a small dairy farm in southern Dallas County near Elkland, Missouri. In 1970-71 he was editor of the Southwest Missouri State College Standard, and from 1971 to 1974 he served his country as a U.S. Air Force journalist and base newspaper editor. After earning a BA in writing at Southwest Missouri State University in 1974, he worked as a news editor at the Bolivar Herald-Free Press. In 1977 he returned to SMSU for a master's degree and then began a 24-year stint as editor and publisher of the Buffalo Reflex. For more than forty years, Hamilton produced weekly editorial columns, and a collection of these was published as The River of Used To Be in 1994. Hamilton was inducted into the Regional Media Hall of Fame in 2016.
Phillip Howerton is professor of English at Missouri State University-West Plains. His essays, reviews, and poems have appeared in numerous journals and books, such as American History through Literature, Arkansas Review, Big Muddy, Christian Science Monitor, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Midwest Quarterly, Red Rock Review, Slant, and Writers of the American Renaissance. He is a co-founder and poetry editor of Cave Region Review and general editor of Elder Mountain: A Journal of Ozarks Studies. His poetry collection, The History of Tree Roots, was published by Golden Antelope Press in 2015, and his The Literature of the Ozarks: An Anthology was published by University of Arkansas Press in 2019, a project for which he received the Missouri Literary Award from the Missouri Library Association.


The newspaper column is a surprisingly difficult genre: strict word count limits, inflexible deadlines, and the necessity to be both original and familiar to a broad spectrum of readers. Jim Hamilton is a master practitioner of the form. His columns capture a moment, dig deep into a memory, analyze an emotion. Each column is a finely crafted exploration of an experience or recollection, and although you can see their origins in the deadline-driven world of newspaper production, they transcend those origins and offer us lasting insights. There's both sweetness and precision in these columns, a combination that is hard to pull off and even harder to sustain; Jim Hamilton has managed that challenging art for more than forty years. This collection of work from his recent years of writing is something to be savored.

Steve Wiegenstein, Author of The Daybreak Series

Jim Hamilton has long been a wordsmith whose weekly offerings have reconnected community newspaper readers with memories of their own early years. He also has afforded readers of all ages with the opportunity to appreciate the simpler and special things nature has to offer. This collection of some of those offerings is certain to appeal to those already familiar with his craftsmanship and those who will be happy they have come to know through this book how he can turn a phrase.

Dave Berry, former newspaper editor and publisher

Jim's columns over the years have made me smile. Some have made me laugh. Still others have made me choke up and cry, with tears running down my cheeks. Others allowed me to reminisce. Some remind me of my own childhood and growing up in the Ozarks. All have made me think.

James Sterling, past president of the Missouri Press Association and Recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism