Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library to host Luther College professor emeritus for book reading, discussion

Thursday, February 22 David Faldet will be at the Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library to talk about and read from his book Oneota Flow: The Upper Iowa River and Its People. Faldet will be presenting his program at the library at 6 p.m. that Thursday.

The book, a natural history of the Upper Iowa River basin, is a nonfiction blend of history, environmental research, and personal experience that argues taking care of the rivers in the surrounding area is a necessary way to protect future. It was published by the University of Iowa Press as part of its American Land and Life series.

Oneota Flow is organized into chapters that follow the story of the river from its geological beginnings to the present. In each chapter Faldet surveys persons who are currently involved with resources of the river basin in ways that connect to that chapter of its history.

Faldet’s illustrated talk will focus on sections of the book that deal with Allamakee County, such as the work of Ellison Orr and the Neutral Ground period of Ho-Chunk removal. He will consider the river from an ecological and legal perspective, review early and recent attempts to explore and map the river, and changes in the river from the 1940s to the 1970s, including those brought about by the advent of recreational canoeing.

Faldet, professor emeritus of English at Luther College, taught journalism, English literature, environmental studies, and the all-college first-year course.  He was the 2007-2009 Dennis M. Jones Professor of Humanities at the college.  As part of his work in this professorship he completed the work necessary for publishing this survey of the Upper Iowa and its history.

The sixth generation of his family to live in the Driftless Area, Faldet frames his picture of the world through a rural lens. He grew up, attended college, and taught in Decorah. He earned his Master’s at the University of Washington, his doctorate at the University of Iowa, and has spent five years in study, teaching and travel in Great Britain. He and his wife Rachel (a teacher, writer, and editor) have two adult daughters.

In addition to his scholarly work on Victorian England, William Morris, and the Arts and Crafts movement, Faldet has published the novel King: A Mystery.  His poems have appeared in a number of journals.