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Wayne State University Press

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The Way North

Collected Upper Peninsula New Works

edited by Ron Riekki

Award Winner

Fiction, Michigan, Poetry, Upper Peninsula

Made in Michigan Writers Series

Published: May 2013
ISBN: 9780814338650
Pages: 280 Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Published: May 2013
ISBN: 9780814338667
Pages: 280 Size: EPUB

It's about time we had an anthology like this, news from the cold, winter world, a new kind of North. 

— Ander Monson

Michigan's Upper Peninsula is distinct from the rest of the state in geography, climate, and culture, including a unique and thriving creative writing community. In The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, editor Ron Riekki presents poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from memorable, varied voices that are writing from and about Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In all, this unique anthology features new works from forty-two writers, including rising star Ellen Airgood, Edgar Award-winner Steve Hamilton, Rona Jaffe Award-winner Catie Rosemurgy, Jonathan Johnson of Best American Poetry, Michigan Notable Book Award-winner Keith Taylor, and Michigan Author Award-winner John Smolens.

In 49 poems and 20 stories-diverse in form, length, and content-readers are introduced to the unmistakable terrain and characters of the U.P. The book not only showcases the snow, small towns, and idiosyncratic characters that readers might expect but also introduces unexpected regions and voices. From the powerful powwow in Baraga of April Lindala's "For the Healing of All Women" to the sex-charged basement in Stambaugh of Chad Faries's "Hotel Stambaugh: Michigan, 1977" to the splendor found between Newberry and Paradise in Joseph D. Haske's "Tahquamenon," readers will delight in discovering the work of both new and established authors. The contributors range widely in age, gender, and background, as The Way North highlights the work of established writers, teachers, students, laborers, fishermen, housewives, and many others.

The Way North brings the U.P.'s literary tradition to the awareness of more readers and showcases some of the most compelling work connected to the area. It will be welcomed by readers interested in new fiction and poetry and instructors of courses on Michigan writing.

Ron Riekki was born and raised in the U.P. and has graduate degrees in creative writing from Brandeis, Virginia, and Western Michigan, and a degree in religious studies from Central Michigan. He is the author of U.P.: A Novel, several poetry chapbooks, and numerous plays, including Carol, Dandelion Cottage, A Play, and All Saints' Day.

Contributors Include:
Marty Achatz, Ellen Airgood, Robert Alexander, Julie Brooks Barbour, Sally Brunk, Jennifer Burd, Lisa Fay Coutley, Sharon Dilworth, Amber Edmondson, Chad Faries, Matthew Gavin Frank, Manda Frederick, Randall R. Freisinger, Eric Gadzinski, Steve Hamilton, Sue Harrison, Joseph Daniel Haske, Barbara Henning, Jennifer A. Howard, Austin Hummell, Linda Johnson, Ron Johnson, Jonathan Johnson, L E. Kimball, Emily Van Kley, April Lindala, Raymond Luczak, Matt Maki, Seth Marlin, Beverly Matherne, Mary McMyne, Jane Piirto, Saara Myrene Raappana, Janeen Rastall, Janice Repka, Vincent Reusch, Ron Riekki, Catie Rosemurgy, Andrea Scarpino, John Smolens, Keith Taylor, Cameron Witbeck, Jim Zukowski

Beautifully edited, The Way North is more than a collection. It is a collaboration of writers, each whom understand in his and her own way what is sacred about that utterly unique, freshwater peninsula known as the U.P. Open most any page of this book and you'll smell the piney air and feel even in the sunlight the clean, steely, visceral cold.

– Stuart Dybek

It's about time we had an anthology like this, news from the cold, winter world, a new kind of North. These are notifications that we are not alone up here-out there-in our snowy hearts' interiors.

– Ander Monson

The Way North is a wide-ranging sampler of current Upper Peninsula writing, reflecting many different viewpoints, and an excellent introduction for those who are curious about the UP and its writers.

– Bradley A. Scott, ForeWord Reviews

This collection establishes beyond a doubt that Upper Michigan has incubated some of the most exciting, innovative, and downright enjoyable writers and writing being produced anywhere in America today. Ron Riekki-a terrific writer himself-deserves plaudits and more.

– Tom Bissell, Escanaba native and author of Extra Lives and Magic Hours

The Way North, edited by Ron Riekki, is a unique collection of stories and poems from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. . . this is a worthwhile read, especially for those with an interest in Michigan.

– Christopher Tuthill, American Book Review

The Way North is a powerful and much recommended addition to the literary compilations focusing on the Midwest.

– James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

The Way North, a collection of poems and short stories gathered by editor Ron Riekki, deserves a place on everyone’s bookshelf. Riekki made his selection with one thought in mind— to show off the best contemporary pieces from authors associated with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

– John Gubbins, Middle West Review

  • 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards - Result: Finalist in the Anthology category
  • 2014 Michigan Notable Book Award - Result: 1 of 20 selected annually
  • 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Awards - Result: Finalist in the category of General Fiction, and Shortlisted for the 2014 Grand Prize
  • 2014 Midwest Book Awards - Result: Finalist in the category of Fiction: Short Story/Anthology
  • 2014 ForeWord Book of the Year Award - Result: Finalist in the category of Anthologies