Literary Landscapes

Is there a Midwestern author or book that you love? Have you visited their home or made a pilgrimage to their birthplace? Do you share a hometown? On your commute, do you pass by a site from within their writing? Do you live near a site that has been lost or redeveloped? Write about that experience!

We seek brief essays (400-600 words), accompanied by a photo of the site, to publish on The New Territory website for a series called “Literary Landscapes.” We hope this will develop into an ongoing series on the website, with highlights published in the print magazine.

It’s essential that this series represent the diversity of the Midwest, including the authors, contributors, and the types of landscapes and visuals that we publish. With that in mind, we especially seek pitches from indigenous, people of color, disabled, and LGBTQ+ contributors.

Here are a few possibilities from The New Territory team. Select one of these or pitch your own! Send inquiries and pitches to Outpost Editor Andy Oler at andy.oler@erau.edu.

A (limited) list of potential sites:

  • Gwendolyn Brooks (Chicago, IL)
  • Ana Castillo (Chicago, IL)
  • Willa Cather (Red Cloud, NE)
  • Sandra Cisneros (Chicago, IL; house torn down, but the house next door still stands)
  • William Cunningham (sites from the Green Corn Rebellion in eastern Oklahoma)
  • Rita Dove (Akron, OH)
  • Loren Eiseley (Lincoln, NE)
  • T.S. Eliot (boyhood home in St. Louis, MO; apparently now a weedy parking lot)
  • Louise Erdrich (Birchbark Books or other Minnesota sites)
  • Susan Glaspell (Davenport, IA)
  • Joy Harjo (Tulsa, OK)
  • Robert Hayden (Detroit, MI)
  • S.E. Hinton (Tulsa, OK)
  • Langston Hughes (Lawrence, KS; neighborhood exists, but house torn down)
  • Meridel Le Sueur (Minneapolis, MN)
  • William Least Heat-Moon (Kansas City or Columbia, MO, or Chase County, KS, the setting of PrairyErth)
  • Elmore Leonard (Detroit, MI, or characters from Detroit, Norman, OK, etc.)
  • John Joseph Mathews (Pawhuska, OK)
  • Lorine Niedecker (Black Hawk Island, WI)
  • Ohiyesa/Charles Eastman (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois)
  • Tillie Olsen (Wahoo or Omaha, NE)
  • James Whitcomb Riley (Greenfield, IN)
  • Tomás Rivera (worked in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin)
  • Bienvenido Santos (Iowa City, IA)
  • Hugo Martinez Serros (Chicago, IL, sites related to The Last Laugh and Other Stories)
  • Mark Twain (birthplace in Florida, MO)
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder (museum in Mansfield, MO)
  • John Albert Williams (Omaha, NE)
  • Malcolm X (birthplace in Omaha, NE)
  • Zitkala-Ša (Yankton Nakota Reservation, SD, or Wabash or Richmond, IN)

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