On the Big Rivers: From Three Forks, Montana to New Orleans Louisiana

Genoa House
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Canoeing from the source of the Missouri River high in the mountains of the Continental Divide down the rapids and over the dams of the upper Missouri to its confluence with the Mississippi and on down its broad waters to New Orleans, 3,800 miles, two young men undertake a voyage of adventure that every young person talks about, but few take. Travel with them in a time before cell phones and GPS as they are initiated into the age old perils of nature and explore the historic river towns along their route. Experience through vivid, first person story telling, the physical and emotional challenges they meet and overcome in their encounters on this pioneering journey down the two greatest rivers of America. This exciting narrative provides not only a pristine view of the beauties of these rivers as they were fifty years ago, but also dramatizes the damage we have done in contaminating, straightening, and commercializing our once bounteous water resources. Share this dream of inspiring adventure and experience the pioneering spirit that still lives in every young heart.
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About the author

Richard E. Messer earned his Ph.D. at the University of Denver. He has pursued post-graduate work in Analytical Psychology at the C.G. Jung Institute in Küsnacht, near Zurich. A poet, fiction writer, and literary critic, he is a Professor Emeritus of English at Bowling Green State University. His work has appeared in many journals, including The Nation, Psychological Perspectives, The Sun, and The Black Warrior Review. He is the author of three books of poetry, Murder in the Family, (1995) which was awarded the Nancy Dasher award by the College English Association, A Life on Earth, (2006) and most recently Dark Healing, published by il piccolo editions in November 2013.

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Additional Information

Genoa House
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Published on
Feb 21, 2015
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Nature / Ecosystems & Habitats / Rivers
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Dark Healing says it all. Richard E. Messer’s Selected Poems opens in the wake of his first wife’s murder. We are plunged into the dark necessities of unbearable loss—identifying the body, accounting for his own whereabouts, telling the news to his young children. These early poems are stark, plain spoken. They come from the hole in his heart. This haunting collection transports us through a long dark night of the soul into the dawn. Revived by dreams, by animal spirits, by the ‘blue bear with the magenta nose’ he returns us to life, to love, to the rich world of his spellbinding imagery. Messer’s poems are magical, close to the unconscious, mysterious, shamanistic, they make astonishing leaps between realms. Dark Healing is a testimony to the transformative power of the creative imagination. Messer emerges, as do we, ‘fierce with redemption, robed in song.’—Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, author of The Faust Woman Poems.

Messer writes with a sureness that sounds not so much like intellectual conviction as the simple statement of bone and flesh. He has lived all these lives and can speak of them naturally as he breathes, and with the same pain and joy. —Marianna Hoffer, Ohioanna Quarterly

The concept of family is important to this author. ‘There is so much violence, particularly against women and children. I wanted to promote a feeling of solidarity within families and for the victims of violence, who are often stigmatized. Murder definitely does not fit in with the Great American Dream.’—Bonnie Blankinship, The Monitor

These poems, written from lived experience, speak for the survivors of personal violence. The pain inflicted on so many families in our violent age has seldom been faced with such unflinching determination to depict it honestly and wrest from it an acceptance of suffering based on a full, active and meaningful view of life. Does anyone escape suffering? No, that is why those who survive and go on to a new acceptance of life, reach out to those who are for the present victims. Tragedy teaches what intuition always whispers: there is a realm in which we are all present to each other; we are One in the deep heart’s core. We mourn those who die, and we move on through the knowledge that what has happened to them, no matter how brutal or tragic, does not define them—or us. Our spirits and our souls tell us who we are and give our lives their meaning.

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