Nebraska Center for Writers

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About Jon Volkmer


The Art of Country Grain Elevators
Copyright © 2006
by Jon Volkmer and Bruce Selyem
Bottom Dog Press
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With a focused and indefatigable passion, Bruce Selyem has been photographing the simple elegance of grain elevators within the context of austere rural landscapes for fifteen years. Grain elevators remain fascinating and treasured landmarks in many Western communities, arousing contemplation and even reverence as historic and aesthetic icons. These qualities are readily apparent in the quiet beauty and studied compositions of Selyem's photographs. — Ellen Ornitz, Visual Arts Director, The Emerson & Beall Park, Bozeman, Montana

These are poems that spring from the ground like fresh seed, but never without human references. And it is the human references, in country circumstances, that make them familiar and understandable to everyone, . . . Whether he is writing about giving his father a haircut or questioning him about the Great Depression, Jon Volkmer knows farm-people intimately and describes them with bedrock wisdom in a world of tarpaper, boxcars, corn, propane tanks, drill bits, wooden elevators, concrete silos, flour mills, rats, ferrets and barn ladders. — Samuel Hazo

The latest publication from Bottom Dog Press is The Art of Grain Elevators, a collection of poems by Jon Volkmer and photographs by Bruce Selyem. Together, they capture the look and feel of rural life, examining an aspect of working-class culture that often gets ignored. As Volkmer explains, the book "is really about one working man, my father, but he was the real deal." — Working-Class Notes

The Fiction Workshop Companion
Copyright © 1995
by Jon Volkmer
Bendall Books
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A central premise behind this exciting new (and inexpensive) book for "writers-in-progress" is that the primary text of any creative writing workshop should be the stories of the participants. Unlike larger textbooks and anthologies, which tend to dominate the process and take up valuable time, Volkmer's Fiction Workshop Companion is designed to provide important information, and then get out of the way. — from the publisher

. . . this book works well on a number of levels. It's an invaluable companion for anyone working alone; it provides practical help for those working in groups in classroom or workshop settings, and it's a useful resource for teachers and workshop facilitators. — Canadian Author Magazine, Fall 1996

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Nebraska Center for Writers