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Literature of the Land: Meet the Author - Jack Marshall Maness, Song of the Jawhawk


When Congress opened the lands west of the Missouri River to settlement in 1854, it created the conditions that led to the Civil War, abolition of slavery, decline of Native peoples, and ultimately, the success of many Euro-American families. Religious idealists, battle-hardened frontiersmen, savvy entrepreneurs and simple farmers all came to make Kansas, and the West, theirs. They claimed, bartered, sowed, and bled on the land that is now known as the Breadbasket of America.


Song of the Jayhawk, the first in a trilogy of historical novels, was inspired by the lives of the author’s great-great grandparents, Irish immigrants and early settlers in Kansas who likely only wanted to farm this rich soil. Come meet the author, discuss the book, hear more about the history of land use on the Plains, and how the dense woods and rolling hills of the Missouri River basin influenced his novels.


$10, $8 members



Literature of the Land: Spring 2015 Book Club



Join us for the spring 2015 session of Literature of the Land, a book club series hosted by the Helen Fowler Library. We’ll read 3 books over 3 months, focusing on a specific topic of interest.


We delve into literature related to the land and to nature, discussing topics that may range from environmental issues to the culture of food and drink, from the American dust bowl to the cinnamon trees of Southeast Asia. This spring we’ll examine the crucial role of pollinators in our ecosystem. In March, we’ll start with Dave Goulson’s part memoir, part call for conservation A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees. In April, we’ll move on to the dystopian novel The Bees by Laline Paull and in May, we’ll wrap up with Bill McKibben’s Oil and Honey.


Registration is mandatory as attendance will be limited in number to allow for interactive discussion in a friendly group setting. The cost is $5 per session, $15 for all three sessions.



March 25 and 26

April 22 and 23

May 20 and 21



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