An Evening of Poetry and Non-Fiction with Dave Lucas and Ted Genoways

Ted Genoway is author of This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American FarmIs there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Rick Hammond grew up on a small ranch, and for forty years he has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation homestead in York County, Nebraska, in hopes of passing it on to their four children. But as the handoff nears, their small family farm―and their entire way of life―are under siege. Rising corporate ownership of land and livestock is forcing small farmers to get bigger and bigger, assuming more debt and more risk. At the same time, after nearly a decade of record-high corn and soybean prices, the bottom has dropped out of the markets, making it ever harder for small farmers to shoulder their loans. All the while, the Hammonds are confronted by encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day. This Blessed Earth is both a concise exploration of the history of the American small farm and a vivid, nuanced portrait of one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.
Ted Genoways is a contributing editor at Mother Jones, The New Republic, and Pacific Standard. His last book, The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Writing and Literature. His other honors include a National Press Club Award, an Association of Food Journalists Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation. He lives outside Lincoln, Nebraska, with the photographer Mary Anne Andrei and their teenage son.
​Dave Lucas is author of the poetry collection Weather. In this debut collection, Lucas turns and returns to Cleveland, where he was raised. The weather of these poems arises from both the lush light of the natural world and the hard rain of industry. Poem by poem, the book surveys the majesty and ruin of landscape and lakefront, paying tribute to the shifting seasons of a city, of a terrain, and of those who dwell there.

A lifelong Clevelander, ​Dave Lucas was educated at John Carroll University (BA, 2002), the University of Virginia (MFA, 2004), and the University of Michigan (PhD, 2014), where ​he wrote ​his dissertation on the idea of the self in contemporary American poetry.​ His first book of poems, Weather, received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. ​He frequently reviews​ poetry for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and ​is a co-founder and co-curator of the Brews + Prose reading series at Market Garden Brewery.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
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