Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Quarterly 30:1 (Winter 2010)


Copyright 2013 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The central metaphor in this final installment of Nebraska State Poet Bill Kloefkorn's four-part celebration of life in the Great Plains is air. Whereas his three previous memoirs- water, fire, and earth-explored childhood and adolescent memories, Kloefkorn here focuses mainly on adult experiences in college and the Marine Corps, teaching English at Nebraska Wesleyan, classroom adventures as a poet-in-residence, and his celebrated victory in the North Platte, Nebraska, hog-calling contest. Time and tradition are central concerns in this book, as is desire-in football and marriage, in writing poetry and being a good Marine or hog caller, in overcoming adversities like alcoholism-not his own, but his brother's.