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The Lake Michigan Mermaid | A Tale in Poems

In “The Lake Michigan Mermaid” a troubled young girl seeks a mythical creature, the spirit of the lake, a beautiful mermaid that she believes lives in our Lake Michigan waters. This is the story of her search, her risk, and the mermaid’s incredible decision as she becomes aware of the girl’s desperate search. The two voices, the mermaid’s and the girl’s, make up the alternating

American Map: Essays

American Map: Essays In An American Map, Anne-Marie Oomen, award-winning writer and self-confessed northern Michigan homebody, chronicles her recent travels across America, in essays that span rediscovered landscapes, wild back roads, vital cities, and everything in between. Oomen takes both a wide and narrow lens to her destinations, giving readers a vivid sense of each locale while finding resonances between each place and her own experiences.

House of Fields: Memories of a Rural Education

Anne-Marie Oomen uses a wealth of vivid language and personal details to bring scenes from her childhood on a family farm to life in House of Fields. Yet the focus of this book shifts away from the daily activities of the farm, which Oomen presented in Pulling Down the Barn, to life outside its boundaries, as she explores the complex meaning of "education" in all

Pulling Down the Barn: Essays on Growing Up in Rural Michigan

Pulling Down the Barn eloquently recalls author Anne-Marie Oomen’s personal journey as she discovers herself an outsider on her family farm located in western Michigan’s Oceana County, in the township of Elbridge—a couple hundred acres in the middle of rural America. Written as a series of heartfelt interlocking narratives, this collection of essays portrays the realities of farm life: haying, picking asparagus and cherries, the

Uncoded Woman: Poems

Coding and decoding are the themes of Anne-Marie Oomen’s collection of poems, which together tell the story of a woman named Bead and her search for a safe harbor. The maritime “International Code of Signals” becomes a symbolic guide to Bead’s journey, lending weightier meaning to boating phrases such as “You should proceed with caution” and “I am continuing to search.” The beautiful terrain near

Love, Sex and 4-H

As the 1960s dawned in small-town Michigan, Anne-Marie Oomen was a naive farm girl whose mother was determined to keep her out of trouble-by keeping her in 4-H. In Love, Sex, and 4-H, Oomen sets the wholesomeness of her domestic lessons in 4-H club from 1959 to 1969 against the political and sexual revolution of the time. Between sewing her first dish towel and finishing