Without Warning: The Tornado of Udall, Kansas
Jim Minick is the author or editor of eight books, including Without Warning: The Tornado of Udall, Kansas (nonfiction), The Intimacy of Spoons (poetry, forthcoming), Fire Is Your Water (novel), and The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family. His work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Poets & Writers, Oxford American, Orion, Shenandoah, Appalachian Journal, Wind, and The Sun. He serves as Coeditor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.
Judge Bruce Mactavish is Washburn University Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, and Assistant Professor of History. Bruce holds a BA from Furman University, and MA and PhD from University of Mississippi. He teaches Kansas Studies, Kansas History and U. S. History through and since the Civil War. His scholarly interests include African American History, the Civil Rights Movement, Kansas history and the American West.
Note from the Judge:
Cheryl Unruh’s Gravedigger’s Daughter is an insightful, generous-spirited book that creates a vivid sense of both place and time by telling the story of growing up in Pawnee Rock, a small town in Barton County during the 1960s and ‘70s. Unruh’s relationship with her father, an unassuming yet extraordinary man, is affectionately and unsentimentally rendered. The author’s understanding of the character of her father and hometown is delineated by an original writing style that is lean, colloquial, and understated while at the same time detailed, colorful, and intense; the language is both plain-spoken and elegant. The natural and cultural history of the place are woven into the narrative in fresh and surprising ways that enable the reader to experience multiple dimensions of Kansas history while following the ups and downs of the lives of the people featured in the story.
2022 Martin Kansas History Judge
A fifth-generation Kansan, Ron Parks grew up in Minneapolis, Kansas, where he graduated from high school in 1967. Ron was executive director of the Kansas Eisenhower Centennial Commission from 1988 through October 1990. He also served for eight years as director of the Kaw Mission State Historic Site. Published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2014, his book, The Darkest Period: The Kanza Indians and Their Last Homeland, 1846-1873, won both the 2014 Prairie Heritage Book Award and the Santa Fe Trail Association’s Louis Barry Writing Award. The Darkest Period was selected as a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. Ron has also written numerous historical articles about Hays, Council Grove, and Minneapolis.
True Tales of Kansas
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