Jon Volkmer                              
Professor of English               
     Director of Creative Writing
Ursinus College     
     News & Notes                                        

        Bio                                                          Contact:
        Selected Writings                                  (610) 409-3000 ex 2355




          "And don’t you dare set me up as some kind of a
      snippy foil just for the sake of narrative exposition
      unless you say how smart I am and mention my
      kicky new hair cut.”
          My wife Janet is really smart and has a kicky
      new hair cut.

    What begins as a light-hearted romp
    becomes something entirely different. 
    A narrative divided by world cataclysm,
    not in the event, but in its telling...

                 EATING EUROPE
    A Meta-Nonfiction Love Story

Travel Writing may never recover...

                       Read Excerpt


Eating Europe: A Meta-Nonfiction Love Story is travel writing in its most hilarious, poignant,
and consequential form.   It is the year 2000, and Jon has a grant to write about "the Euro-transitional
era."  From Amsterdam to Alsace the tourist life is good.  Jon and Janet eat and drink and spar with
breezy affection while Jon pays scant attention to his project.  As they drive on toward southern France,
it becomes clear that something has gone very wrong—both in the journey itself, and in the telling of the
journey.  Jon the author steps in to explain that he had stopped writing for three years.  In the meantime,
the tragedy of 9/11 and the drum-beat of war have changed everything. Janet has launched into peace
activism and spiraled into depression. In the very month of the Iraq invasion, at the height of America's
anti-French hysteria, Jon goes to France to try to the finish the book. But the ground beneath his story
has shifted. The gloom of the real world bleeds into his writing—where it finds parallels in the pain of
personal relationship and in the lies of every claim of ‘nonfiction.’  In the end, the book strives for
reconciliations:  the author to his wife, the wife to her character, the author to his work, the work to
its genre, America to France.    Read Excerpt



  From tin and two-by-fours an elevator grows
  and for a span of seasons flourishes,
  then withers to dust and blows away.
  That’s the sense of time I’m talking about here

  These are poems that spring from the
  ground like fresh seed, but never without
  human references.  And it is the human
  references, in country circumstances, that
  make them familiar and understandable to
                                 Samuel Hazo


          $14 + S&H.  To order:
Bottom Dog Press

The Art of Country Grain Elevators
My father owned and operated country grain elevators in rural Nebraska.  Working there
during the summers of my adolescence influenced who I am--as an artist, as a son.  I have been
working on these poems for more than twenty years.   I was fortunate to be able to team up with
Bruce Selyem, the premier photographer and preservationist of the vanishing world of country
grain elevators. Bruce's photos--stark, frank, devoid of people--offer a haunting setting for my
little poems teeming with human anxieties and uncertainties.  Read Selected Poems

Published by Bottom Dog Press, as part of its Working Lives Series.