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Born near the end of The Great Depression on the Kearney side of the Platte River, Larry Holland enjoyed, endured or was afflicted with a mainly happy childhood, with relapses. His parents were married nearly 63 years before his mother died; his older brother was killed by a gun at age 14 when Holland was seven. He figures life evens itself out.
His family was large — seven siblings, two grandmothers, a mother and a father under one roof one time or another. His parents passed down to him a legacy of rivers, his mom born and reared in the Big Blue Basin, his dad on the south bank of the Elkhorn at the east edge of the Sandhills. His mother gave him the utmost respect for single-minded, tough women; his father taught him to live with, appreciate and respect the natural world. And to stay on the good side of Mom.
He has college degrees but considers his real education to be from a wide range of reading and being outdoors most of his life. He has been one time or another — and sometimes several at once — woodsman, lumberman, teacher, father, husband, horsebacker, canoeist, hunter, fisherman, backpacker, photographer, writer and moderate liar.
He amassed and squandered a moderate fortune teaching thirty-five years, the last twenty-six-before-moving-on at Northeast Community College in Norfolk. He considers his claim to fame the fine and wonderful students he's had over the years, in three high schools and one college. One of those students became his wife, several others have become fine and valued friends.
Holland's most recent publication is a chapbook-essay My Link to the Plains, Hurãkan Press. He has had essays, stories and poetry published in a variety of magazines, including NEBRASKAland, Montana Outdoors, Yarrow, West Branch, Nebraska Territory, The Nebraska Review, the Platte Valley Review, Hurãkan, Calapooya Collage, Cream City Review, and others. His newest poetry collection, Disciples of an Uncertain Season, is forthcoming.
During most of the eighties Holland was editor of both the Nebraska English Counselor and Elkhorn Review, the latter a tabloid that published over one hundred writers from over forty states, Canada and United Kingdom. He, along with Red Shuttleworth, hosted the First Nebraska Literary Festival in October 1986, and for several years the Elkhorn Writers Conference.
He thinks North America's "last best place" is the Nebraska Sandhills, considers it not an entirely good development that inroads into them are being made by moneyed interests from the East and West coasts. He has said, both publicly and privately, the Sandhills are no place to try out golf courses of PGA caliber, nor for corporate types with more money than interest in the future of that fragile land. He knows, however, that the best of this territory has never lasted--Lakota, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Commanche, Sandhills ranchers.
There are a lot of good places to be from. Nebraska's not such a bad place to be. Holland, having been a Nebraskan all but two years of his life, figures to live out his days as one.

Editor's Note: Larry Holland wrote the profile above, and I couldn't bear to change it to a more objective profile. Sadly, he died in a car accident in March of 1999, on his way to see the Sandhill Cranes. At least he got his wish, living out his days as a Nebraskan. Sandhills Press is bringing out a tribute, The Plains Sense of Things, 3: A Tribute to Larry Holland.

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Nebraska Center for Writers