Bone Chalk (Paperback)

Bone Chalk By Jim Reese Cover Image
Not on our shelves, but available to order.
(This book cannot be returned)


Ride shotgun down the back-roads of the Great Plains as Reese becomes Willy the Wildcat at a small Division II school, drives a tractor into an outbuilding his first week on the job, and discovers, sometimes with horror, the truth - after immersing himself in the lives of strangers, friends and prisoners. Travel to San Quentin prison in San Francisco Bay where he has full access and isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. Join him in a superstore pharmacy prophylactic aisle. Explore teenage angst and desire with him at a Midwest skating rink. Accompany him as he archives his mother-in-law's peculiarities, often verbatim.

Reese was born in Iowa, but moved to Omaha at age seven where he grew up in what passes for "the big city" in Nebraska. He married into a farm family, moved to northeast Nebraska, and this book captures the disparity between urban and rural America. He takes sympathetic, comic, and serious looks at the people he writes about, offering a humorous and equally critical view of himself. He captures those moments in the belly of the heartland, where all are welcome to the strangeness of good company and rural behaviors, and in doing so, these essays record the zeitgeist of the time. The intersections of Reese's stories about the incarcerated or genuine mid-western sensibilities allow readers to take the reins and become part of his ongoing journey to find his place in the world. Reese is a wandering minstrel, and as the author of four widely-praised books of poetry, he knows how to blow our hearts sideways.

"JIM REESE'S NEW BOOK is what we might think of as 'an evening's entertainment, ' and it's an enriching entertainment at that, witty and funny, shadowed by feelings deeper and more meaningful, a kind of operetta in prose, and it will stick with me for a good long while. I recommend it."

-Ted Kooser, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 13th Poet Laureate of the United States

"JIM REESE... HE'S OUR MARK TWAIN of this century ... Jim writes about the everyday experience, and he, in my view, is therefore America's poet."

-Grace Cavalieri, from the Poet and the Poem at the Library of Congress

"Jim Reese's Bone Chalk is like a strong shot of rye, a piercing look from a stranger, or a stray bullet in the dark. There is a startling honesty that slams you against the wall by the throat and holds you there until you see the truth, a unique perspective into the world of true crime from a gifted writer."

-Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire novels, the basis for the Netflix drama Longmire

Product Details
ISBN: 9781622884148
ISBN-10: 1622884140
Publisher: Stephen F. Austin University Press
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 154
Language: English