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Ink Trails: Michigan's Famous and Forgotten Authors Paperback – August 1, 2012
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. . . a book that belongs on every Michigander’s shelf—after it has been devoured. I learned a great deal about several authors I’d long admired . . . and more about fascinating people I have yet to discover. If you are looking for a new literary adventurer, Ink Trails is the path for you.
The Dempsey brothers’ Ink Trails takes you on an amazing ride on the back roads and highways of Michigan’s literary history, visiting eighteen authors where they lived and worked.
About the Author
Jack Dempsey is a lawyer, history advocate, and author.
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Top customer reviews
It is a guide, written brilliantly, about the obvious, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, but who knew that Arthur Miller described Michigan's imprint on him as, "It helped to lay out the boundaries of my life." Only in a tome as this could you discover Dudley Felker Randall, described by one as the "father of the black poetry movement," who was forced to start his own press, printing one page poems as bulletins in order to save money because he found it impossible to find a publisher interested in publishing works by African American poets. Randall was a war veteran who worked for a bit as a postal worker and ran his publishing business from his home in Detroit. Broadside Press is still operating today.
Only in an incredibly researched and touchingly written work do you discover an unknown poet from Ann Arbor who spoke of her fear of being abandoned by her mother as;
Sometimes when she goes downtown/I think she will not come back/
Because of Jane Kenyon and others like her, the book might more appropriately be entitled, "Michigan's Famous and Forgotten Authors and those who died to damn early!
Theodore Huebner Roethke wrote from great despair in one of his manic phases-that would probably be easily treated by pharmaceuticals today,
"What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance. The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair."
Ringgold Lardner, Holling Clancy Holling, Charles Bruce Catton, and others. You probably never heard of most of them and when you read this book you'll wander why it took so long. Forgotten, brilliant artists, almost lost to time until the Dempsey brothers tell us that maybe the guy that sold bread to our grandmother was responsible for penning the Shakespearean; "Courage is heartworth making itself felt in deeds. It never waits for chances; it makes chances."
So said George Matthew Adams from Saline Michigan.
Some of Frost's most lyrical description of nature are about the Ann Arbor locales such as "Spring Pools." John Donaldson Voelker is discussed. You may recognize his pen name of Robert Traver who wrote, "Anatomy of a Murder," a book that was made into a Hollywood feature film that won seven academy awards and was directed by Otto Preminger and stared Jimmy Stewart. Mr. Voelker was also a Supreme Court Justice on the Michigan Court and some of his literary phraseology that appeared in court opinions is included in the book. (In true fashion of a Yooper-a person from the Upper Peninsula- Voelker resigned from the court to finish out his days writing and fishing.)
It seems that Jack Dempsey- not to be upstaged by his brother Dave who has already won an award as the Michigan Author of the Year- went on a road trip and has included wonderful pictures of everything from the Robert Frost family home to the Dandelion Cottage in Marquette.
That we had such artists that walked amongst us as mortals, shopping at Sears and watching Gunsmoke, is recorded in one place and in so doing have created a work in and of itself.
Many new, some known. The profiles are delightful mini-bios loaded with detail about the Michigan villages, towns and landscapes that shaped the souls of capable authors. I learned alot. The profiles of Gwen Frostic, Gene Ruggle and Jane Kenyon are favorites!
Kudos to the Dempsey duo in capturing important history. This would be a great supplement in the classroom.They have created a terrific platform to explore a range of styles and personalities.
A fantastic gift book for anyone who wants personal and professional notes about Michiganders who have left us plenty to chew on.