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N.D. Author to be featured at Prairie Talks

November 22, 2013
Pierce County Tribune

At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 26, 2014 in the Rugby Eagles Club, Prairie Talks will host Melanie Hoffert, North Dakota native and author of Prairie Silence: A Rural Expatriate's Journey to Reconcile Love, Home, and Faith (Beacon Press, 2013).

Hoffert grew up on a farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota, where she spent her childhood wandering gravel roads and listening to farmers at church potlucks. Her work has been published in several literary journals, in which she received creative non-fiction awards, and she holds an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. Melanie lives in Minneapolis and works for Teach For America.

The event is co-sponsored by the Heart of America Library. "We are excited to welcome a North Dakota author to our community," said Sheila Craun, Library Director at Heart of America Library, "and we are pleased to have a copy of Prairie Silence in the library."

Prairie Silence has received warm reviews by many. Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean, writes: "In Prairie Silence, Melanie Hoffert shows how the landscapes of our childhood continue to speak to us, and through us, long after we've left them behind. In this beautifully written and deeply imagined memoir, Hoffert invites us back to her North Dakota farming community for a season of harvest, a personal journey of profound courage and grace."

Autographs will be available, and a limited supply of books will be available for sale. Books can also be purchased at

Previous Prairie Talks events have featured Alan Bjerga, agricultural and food security journalist, author, and 2010 president of the National Press Club; Roxana Saberi, journalist, author, speaker, and human rights advocate; actress Kim Schultz and musician Amikaeyla Gaston who performed Schultz's new play No Place Called Home; and, Bjrn Engesland, Seretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

The series was started to connect people and ideas. Kristi Rendahl, the founder of the series, was born and raised in Benson County and is a graduate of Rugby High School. Prairie Talks has an advisory council comprised of residents of the Rugby area.

Prairie Talks events are intended to engage, challenge, and inspire. Talks are free of charge, but donations are welcomed to help defray expenses. This event is co-sponsored by the Heart of America Library and is supported in part by the North Dakota Humanities Council. Volunteers from the Heart of America Library will serve treats and coffee following the event.

Additional information can be found at



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