Great River Road: Memoir and Memory
Great River Road is about the transformations of memory over time. Personal memory, as we now know, is fluid, flexible, malleable—blending current experience with remembered events, hence altering individual memories in the process of recall. Memoir writing, like memory, reconstructs the past in the light of the present. In this way, painful or even traumatic events—such as my father’s drowning when I was nine years old—may change over time in ways that open new avenues of insight and self-awareness. Both memoir and memory re-member the past in ways that offer the possibility of transformation.
Near Solstice: Prose Poems
Near Solstice is grounded in the body and sensual awareness as the means by which we experience the world. In a series of interlinked poems, which read like meditations, this collection deals with the death of parents, family members and friends in the context of the passing of seasons, the vicissitudes of sexuality, the consolations of landscape, and the significance of light. With their focus on individual moments in time, which expand to include history, myth and culture, these poems are both profoundly physical and intensely spiritual.
I am Regents Professor in the Department of English at the University of Minnesota, where I teach literature and creative writing. In addition to many scholarly books and articles, I have published a collection of lyric essays, Rivers, Stories, Houses, Dreams (New Rivers Press), a memoir, Crying at the Movies: A Film Memoir (Graywolf Press), two collections of poems, The Normal Heart (New Rivers Press) and The Angel of Duluth (White Pine Press) and a co-edited collection of travel writing by women, The House on Via Gombito (New Rivers Press). The Normal Heart was a Minnesota Voices Competition winner, and Crying at the Movies was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. I have also received awards from The Loft, the Bush Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For further information, please consult my author website: www.madelonsprengnether.com.