Item #CNFBV115 Thinking Like a Prairie. Maurice Telleen, Wendell Berry, Marv Smith, Foreword, Illustrations.
Thinking Like a Prairie
Thinking Like a Prairie
Thinking Like a Prairie
Thinking Like a Prairie

Thinking Like a Prairie

[Carrollton, Ohio]: Press on Scroll Road [Bob Baris], [2001]. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 100 numbered copies, large octavo size, 51 pp. Fine. Item #CNFBV115

Maurice Bernard Telleen (1928-2011) was a born and raised a farmer; he served his country in the U.S. Army in Korea, and upon his return graduated from Iowa State and Northwestern, and the University of Iowa. Farming was in his blood; his work included the Nebraska Dairy Breeders Association and the Midwest Pedigree Company.

His love was horses - the big horses, such as Percheron, Clydesdale, and Suffolks. He and his wife of many years, Jeannine, started "The Draft Horse Journal" as a hobby which "served to unite those interested in big horses....The heavy horse industry was not only revived, it actually thrived..." (n.b., from the obituary for Maurice Telleen, published in the "Waverly Democrat" August 25, 2011).

His love for farming and the land found literary expression as well, in this series of short essays which center around the earth - the ground, the grass, which "is the forgiveness of Nature, her constant benediction" (p. 13). Sharing some of his profound thoughts and deep love of the land, Telleen waxes poetic in his prose which is straight from the heart.

Published by the Press on Scroll Road, this work was reviewed in "Parenthesis 7", with Jan Elsted commenting that it "is a model of what a fine press book should be: a marriage of form and content, style and thought" (n.b., from book's prospectus). Illustrated with woodcuts by Marv Smith of the prairie rose, purple coneflower, prarie phlox, blazing star and the prarie larksput. With a moving Forword by Wendell Berry relating the circumstances under which he and Telleen first met, which resulted in a friendship which, as of the writing of the Preface, had lasted for twenty-six years. Wendell Erdman Berry (b. 1934) was the first living writer to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame (in 2015). The winner of numerous awards and a prolific author, his writing "is grounded in the notion that one's work ought to be rooted in and responsive to one's place" (n.b., per Wiki).

___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green linen cloth over boards, white paper spine label with black lettering, fore- and bottom edges uncut, light green laid paper endpapers and flyleaves, the woodcut illustrations in green, the first on the title page and the rest bound in throughout; handset in Cloister Lightface type with Centaur display on specially prepared Not Quite White paper made by Twinrocker Handmade Paper, large octavo size (9 5/8" by 6 3/8"), pagination: [i-ix] x-xii [1-3] 4-35 [1, blank] [1, colophon] [1, blank] [1, copyrights].

___CONDITION: Fine overall, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; perhaps a hint of sunning at the top edge of the front board and spine, and a speck of light soil on the back board. Still a lovely example of a scarce publication of only 100 copies; as of this writing, we see no copies in the online marketplace.

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Price: $400.00