Ohio and Ohio Valley writers and writing, literary and cultural history with occasional ventures into the greater Midwest and Upper South.

“Winter” from Sherwood Anderson’s “Home Town”

By buckeyemuse | February 18, 2018

Winter: the quiet time. A season of stillness after the autumn and the holidays. A time for snow, for cold, for long hours indoors as we await the spring’s return. Sometimes it’s raw and rainy. At other times the earth is blanketed with silence and snowfall, and some winters are mild, sometimes mild enough that…

Read More

Some Books of 1917

By buckeyemuse | January 9, 2018

1917 was a watershed year for the United States. In April of that year the United States finally entered the First World War, which transformed the nation. By the war’s end 4,743,829 men and women were mobilized into service, 53,513 were killed in combat, and 63,195 were dead from disease and other causes. There were…

Read More

A Treasure Trove of History: The Eugene Debs House in Terre Haute, Indiana

By buckeyemuse | December 27, 2017

Debs. Eugene Debs, the legend…… Debs the labor leader, rallying the boys to the cause, standing by the men of the Great Northern Railway, the men who built the Pullman cars, the miners in the Colorado coalfields, always ready to fight for the American worker. Debs jailed in Woodstock, Illinois in 1894, convicted of impeding…

Read More

James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orphant Annie”

By buckeyemuse | October 30, 2017

James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orphant Annie” is one of the Hoosier poet’s most beloved and well-known poems, one which has endured and become part of the folk memory of generations of Americans. “Little Orphant Annie” stands alongside “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s,” “The Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole,” and “When The Frost Is On The Punkin” as…

Read More

John Dos Passos on Eugene Debs: “Lover of Mankind”

By buckeyemuse | October 19, 2017

The novelist John Dos Passos (1896-1970) gave us one of the great fictional treatments of the United States coming of age during the early twentieth century in his trilogy U.S.A., which consists of The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919 (1932), and The Big Money (1936). The trilogy follows a series of characters through the early years…

Read More

“Summer” From Sherwood Anderson’s “Home Town”

By buckeyemuse | August 17, 2017

Summertime. The good ol’ summertime. Time for vacation, barbecues, long hours by the water. Corn on the cob and homegrown tomatoes, hot dogs and hamburgers, root beer and iced tea. The sounds of lawnmowers, kids splashing in the pool, a crowd at a baseball game. In my part of the midwest–southwestern Ohio– it can start…

Read More

The Waters of Mortality: James Whitcomb Riley’s “The Old Swimmin’-Hole”

By buckeyemuse | August 6, 2017

Brandywine Creek flows leisurely through Indiana’s Shelby, Hancock and Franklin Counties. It is a tributary of the Big Blue River, whose waters successively empty into the Driftwood, White and Wabash rivers, part of the great, interlaced network of waterways draining into the Ohio and then the Mississippi, bound for the Gulf of Mexico. In Greenfield,…

Read More

The James Whitcomb Riley Home in Greenfield, Indiana

By buckeyemuse | July 5, 2017

As a child, the poet James Whitcomb Riley liked to watch the westward bound wagons, stagecoaches and carriages traveling on the National Road past his home. He’s still doing it today. The horse-drawn vehicles have been replaced with pickup trucks, SUV’s and cars, but he still sits watching. The Riley who watches now is a…

Read More

Congratulations, Graduate: Ernest Hemingway, Class of ’17

By buckeyemuse | June 14, 2017

Ernest Hemingway… What comes to mind when you hear the name? The famous author big-game hunting on the African savannah? The young aspiring writer in a Paris cafe, drinking cafe au lait and rum and writing about Michigan? The war correspondent on the front lines in the Spanish Civil War, or traveling with the U.S.…

Read More