Dr. Kelley will fill in here as to her life of letters, but the first thing to know is that she is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of North Dakota State University Press. She also pursues her own scholarly and professional writing in addition to collaborating with Dr. Isern on several lines of research.

Prof. Thomas D. Isern, at core, is a research historian who produces scholarly writing in his fields of expertise. As with many other scholars in the field of Western Americana, he crosses over frequently into the genre of literary nonfiction. (No, not creative nonfiction.) Beyond that (because literary nonfiction, too, can be fairly staid), writing as Tom instead of as Thomas D., he produces a regular and considerable stream of newspaper and radio features under the Plains Folk rubric. Finally, under the influence of the Willow Creek Folk School, he has resumed songwriting, claiming his own place in the lingeage of balladry on the Great Plains.

Recent Literary Honors
  • Gold Medal for Midwestern nonfiction, Independent Publishers Association, 2019
  • 1st Place, Western nonfiction, Independent Press Association, 2019
  • Joseph S. Height Literary Award, Germans from Russia Heritage Society, 2020

When we meet, therefore, let us talk of the regional project, of the sense of place, of splendid landscapes, and of sublime literary passages. Let us also speak of stories, juneberries, retrieving dogs, friends, farms, pies and grandchildren.

Pacing Dakota