Bonnie Larson Staiger

A view from up here (46.9 N Latitude). Poetry, musings, and an occasional blurt

From the time we studied word origins in school, I’ve been fascinated with puzzling words together and the fusion of words on the printed page—their mouth-feel, their musicality, and the magic that can be created within the frame of white space. Poetry seems the perfect art form to bring it all together.

Growing up in western North Dakota, I feel deeply connected to our history, the poignant subtleties and often harsh life on the high plains and short grass prairies. Those ties to peoples, landscape, and the realities of our changing cultures and economies that make up the “New West” creep inexorably into my writing.

Most poets hope their work carries a universal thread of humanity to readers. My goal is to speak to that shared core within others who may or may not call this place home and to show this region as much more than fly-over country. This is the heart of a continent.

 One thing is clear: there is little more powerful than the written word and I have an inordinate respect for the power of the pen.

Recently, my first chapbook, Destiny Manifested, was awarded the inaugural “Voices of the Plains and Prairies Poetry Prize” by North Dakota State University (NDSU) PressIt’s now available from Amazon and the online store: NDSU Press/Shop Now

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Most of all, I love living on the edge of the Badlands.
Here, life is sweet and the sweet crude of oil production
is both sweet and crude. More on that in my new chapbook.

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The title poem from my chapbook:

Destiny Manifested                                                  

Years after his failed attempt to take control of tiny Leith North Dakota and turn it into a haven for white supremacists and racists, Craig Cobb, convicted of terrorizing, is still buying up properties and land across the Midwest—Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri.                

Two centuries ago
white people came
to lay claim
for Jefferson.
His vision, illusion
to make the plains great
to colonize, capitalize
politicize, and nationalize.

Now you come

to sanitize, blacklist
black people, ridicule,
remove red people,
berate Brown
vs. Board of Education.
But you’re too late.

It’s already been done.

 

10 thoughts on “Welcome, come on in!

  1. Hi, Feels nice to see that I’m not alone in the world. Love your work.

    1. Thanks, Mac. From now on, I’ll wave whenever I pass the Buffalo Alice exit.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bonnie…Simply put…..I love how you think…..❤️

  3. robert okaji says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Bonnie. Much appreciated.

  4. I like your place. I will definitely read the other posts. Thanks

  5. Eusebia says:

    Your writing enables me to contemplate a little bit more. I cherished every individual element of this post.
    I appreciate it -Sheena

  6. Seems like you truly understand plenty related to this specific topic and it all exhibits by means of this blog, called “North Dakota Roots | A view from up here (46.9 N Latitude). Musings, observations, and poetry.”
    Thank you -Sterling

  7. Anonymous says:

    As much of a diehard New Yorker as I am, my vacations in North Dakota mark some of the highlights of my life. Hard to explain the sight of never-ending wheat fields (as opposed to skyscrapers or ocean), or a real-life pow wow, or a buffalo crossing your path in the Badlands……

    1. Some of the highlights of my life have been sharing this place with a dear friend and diehard New Yorker. We’ll leave the light on for you.

  8. California Cuzin' says:

    I thought I’d stop by and catch up on the latest northern plains musings.

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