"Bruce E. Whitacre's collection, The Elk in the Glade, is a lovely and loving celebration of his remarkable great grandmother, Jennie Hicks's, life and art, and an inspiring example of how a woman's artistic discipline gave her the courage and insight to transcend the hardships of the Nebraska frontier." Ladette Randolph, Editor in Chief, Ploughshares
Based on personal memories and family oral history, Whitacre’s debut collection of sixteen poems traces the life and legacy of a family matriarch, his paternal great-grandmother, Jennie Hicks. The daughter of American pioneers, she marries a successful farmer, bearing him three girls, seeing them all married, only to outlive him and the farm. Once again alone and facing hardship, she transforms an almost forgotten hobby, her young girl dream, into a brilliant thirty-year career as a successful landscape painter, the future pride of her hometown, Farnam, Nebraska, and an important figure in American art. Lovers of American history, art, and strong female characters will enjoy these chronicles in verse.
Bruce E. Whitacre is the author of The Elk in the Glade: The World of Pioneer and Painter Jennie Hicks, which was a BookLife Editors Pick, and won 2nd Place in Contemporary Poetry from The BookFest 2023. His poems appear in such anthologies I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, The Wonders of Winter, Castles and Courtyards, and the craft book, The Strategic Poet, as well as numerous journals and magazines. His book, Good Housekeeping, will be published by Poets Wear Prada in 2024. More at www.brucewhitacre.com
My great grandfather, grandparents (Esther and her Harlan), and father were all teachers, and to celebrate back to school, we are offering the Kindle download of THE ELK IN THE GLADE for free September 12-14. The ebook includes illustrations that bring Jennie's pictures to life. We hope you enjoy it, as Jennie's journey continues.
The Elk in the Glade
Esther married Harlan, the love of her life and a bright light in Kearney: teacher, Boy Scout troop master. People had their eye on him. Soon they had a baby boy, my father. They were offered a post in Hawaii, where teachers were badly needed.