In Black Dirt Days: Poems as Memoir, poet and journalist Nan Lundeen gives voice to rural Iowa of the 1950s “where cornfields sang in summer/and winter howled at our throats” In a series of thirty-seven narrative poems, Nan describes her people: farmers of German, Swedish, and British ancestry who rotate crops and hand-milk cows. Everything depends on family, neighbors, the markets, the weather, and their own stamina to work from dawn until long after sundown. She shares the story of her parents’ romance, which begins as forbidden love, and her own beginnings as a writer wedded to the land. Teaching artist and poet Glenis Redmond, says, “Nan Lundeen poetically works the past in her collection, Black Dirt Days: Poems As Memoir. With her ear to the ground, she tills the soil of her familial lineage. She wields her lyric voice like a useful farm tool and the reader benefits from her creative laboring. In these poems, she harvests the stories of the land and the people that she came from and both will forever live in her well-worked lines.”
I worked with Nan on this second poetry book, preparing the cover, copy, and distribution.