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Great River Legs is a lyric collection of prose poetry, creative nonfiction, and found poetry. This creative response documents my 1,398 mile, 25-day bicycle ride from Muscatine, Iowa, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, between October 2017–March 2018. The journey took place in legs over breaks during the school year, with two additional back-to-back weekend rides that started the adventure.

In her latest book, Great River Legs, Laura Madeline Wiseman takes you on an intimate journey as she weaves in and out of a cross-country, long distance bike ride. In this beautifully curated book that includes prose poetry, creative non-fiction and found poetry, Wiseman embraces the many parts of herself—cyclist, data collector, meditation practitioner, nature lover, quiet observer—and brings them together in a seamless, profound, and captivating way. – Dawn Mauricio, author of Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners

In Great River Legs, Laura Madeline Wiseman measures the weeks in papers graded, classes taught, but also in miles ridden alongside rivers, lengths of the journey called “legs.” The book’s great subject is as much the making of narrative as it is an exploration of geography. Are our stories circular, spinning like wheels on a bicycle? Or do our lives move almost linearly like a waterway flowing across the land? Through small bursts of lyric prose, Wiseman explores the ways “we can begin again,” how we test ourselves on paths that are “steep and dangerous” while learning to accept that we can never “control the day’s rotation.” – Jehanne Dubrow, author of throughsmoke: an essay in notes



ISBN 978-1-60962-204-6 ebook

Publication Date



Zea Books


Lincoln, Nebraska


cycling, Mississippi, Iowa, poetry, mindfulness


Creative Writing | Nonfiction | Poetry | Women's Studies


Copyright 2021 Laura Madeline Wiseman

Great River Legs