• What the River Carries: Encounters with the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte
    What the River Carries: Encounters with the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte
    by Lisa Knopp
  • The Nature of Home: A Lexicon and Essays
    The Nature of Home: A Lexicon and Essays
    by Lisa Knopp
  • Interior Places
    Interior Places
    by Lisa Knopp
  • Flight Dreams: A Life in the Midwestern Landscape (Singular Lives)
    Flight Dreams: A Life in the Midwestern Landscape (Singular Lives)
    by Lisa Knopp
  • Field of Vision
    Field of Vision
    by Lisa Knopp


Knopp is the author of Field of Vision, Flight Dreams: A Life in the Midwestern Landscape, The Nature of Home, and Interior Places. Her award-winning creative nonfiction, which explores her home ground in Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska, has been lauded as "reminiscent of Thoreau's introspective nature writing and Dillard's taut, personal prose."




A tough choice

As soon as I submit my grades today, my sabbatical begins! I have two book projects, a food memoir tentatively entitled Bread, and a collection of essays about midlife called Like Salt or Love: Essays on Leaving Home, that I'd like to complete between now and August when I return to campus. But completing a book always takes longer that I expect, so I'm trying to decide on just one in case I don't have time for both. Do I devote myself to the safer project (the collection of essays) or the riskier project (the memoir)? Back and forth I go. I hope to have this figured out before my writer's residency begins on Monday, January 5 at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City.




The Manfred Award

"Groundwork," one of the essays in Like Salt or Love, one of the books that I'm currently working on, won the 2014 Manfred Award for the best creative writing (poetry, fiction, memoir, or other creative nonfiction) submitted to the annual conference of the Western American Literature Association. I appreciate the recognition from the good folks at WLA.



Making great literature at the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts

I found out yesterday that I've been awarded a three-week residency at the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City. I'll be there from January 5 to January 23, making great literature. I'm looking forward to the total immersion in my work and to sharing ideas with the other artists.


If you want to know how the Platte River works...

Recently, I've had the pleasure of writing jacket or website blurbs for several new books. One of these is James A. Misko's novel, As All My Fathers Were (Northwest Ventures Press, 2014). Here are my words of praise:

“If you want to know how the Platte River works, read James A. Misko’s absorbing and rambunctious tale of Seth and Richard Barrett, who must complete a journey up the river from its confluence with the Missouri to its source near North Platte, Nebraska, and back if they are to inherit the family farm. In As All My Fathers Were, you’ll learn the natural history of this once wild river that shaped the land and those who lived near it but in the past century has been broken by energy generation and the agricultural industry. Yet as Misko’s novel bears witness, the Platte still has the power to inspire the imagination and fine literature."

Jim will be in Lincoln on Saturday, October18, signing books at the Barnes & Noble at 5150 "O" Street at 11:00 and at the Barnes & Noble at 2910 Pine Lake Road from 2:00 to 4:00. I hope that he sells a million copies!


Going Om

"The Ages of Yoga," my essay about my thirty years of yoga practice and essays by many others are now available in Going Om: Real-life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat, a unique anthology, edited by Melissa Carroll (Viva Editions, September 2014). Here are a few blurbs:

"Perhaps that’s the reason I admire the essays in this collection so deeply. Like shavasana, they seem to be one thing—writers on the subject of yoga—but really they’re another: profound examinations of what it means to be human. In these essays there are funny stories, sad stories, moving stories, and real stories. In sharing their experiences with us, each of these writers have tapped into the universal questions that we’re confronted with when we get ourselves down on the mat. Questions about humility and determination. Simplicity and acceptance. About moving forward, doing the work, and most of all, receiving with equanimity what comes next on breath at a time."
—Cheryl Strayed, author of #1 New York Times Bestseller Wild

"Carroll, a Florida-based yoga teacher and creative writing professor, compiles essays from noted writers including Neal Pollack, Dinty W. Moore, and Claire Dederer, asking each to reflect on what millions of Americans—themselves included—are searching for in yoga practice, and what they are finding. Yoga helped one writer cope with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease; another found self-worth through the challenges of being a 375-pound yoga student; yet another gained new perspective on the notion of “stillness” in a busy world."
Publishers Weekly

Going Om