December 16, 2015
Participants in the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Memorial Illumination stand at attention while the park's flag is lowered. It was August 10, 1861, when 17,000 men, Confederates and Union ...more
July 13, 2015
American Legion Vietnam Memorial Post 639 in Springfield was host to The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. An introduction to the wall told us the exhibit was "in memory of the men and women who ...more
June 15, 2015
Avis Holloway (center) assists Helen Boutwell (at right) in positioning a wreath in front of the Blue Star Veteran's Memorial marker during a dedication ceremony at the Springfield Botanical Gardens ...more
May 16, 2015
Excitement filled the Weisel and Kelly Galleries of the Springfield Art Museum on May 15, 2015, as folks gathered to meet diminutive Susi Ettinger, pictured with her companion. In her 92nd year ...more
December 22, 2013
So, like many, you probably missed celebrating National Poinsettia Day. It was December 12. You probably also missed the black Friday sale of decent-sized poinsettia plants for 96-cents ...more
November 07, 2013
by Ashley Taylor Ever sit at your kitchen table in the morning and wonder, who invented your cereal? Well, if you are eating corn flakes, it was John Harvey Kellogg, pictured at left. His ...more
June 30, 2013
by Jack McKean The best and most beautiful thing about this world is hope. It’s during our darkest hours where we can find hope to come and turn a negative into a positive. Don’t judge each ...more
June 14, 2012
by Trish Hall An introduction - This piece was written in 1990 when Hall was 20 years old. The author writes that she doesn't know why she is suddenly sharing it but that "it needs to see the ...more
May 30, 2012
Long-time Joplin resident Anna "Frankie" Hale recently reminisced with members of the Joplin Area Welcome Club at a luncheon held at Twin Hills Country Club in Joplin. (photo by Vince ...more
May 24, 2012
Mark LaPerle, a Christian/folk/pop/ singer/musician from Bedford, Virginia performs for city of Joplin officials and a huge gathering at Cunningham Park, the final destination for the Walk of Unity ...more
May 19, 2012
Robert X. Fogarty, a photographer from New Orleans, speaks at the opening of his creative exhibit, "Dear World" at the Spiva Center for the Arts. "Dear World, From Joplin with Love," is a powerful ...more
March 11, 2012
Kourtney and Adam Grisham pose with daughter Emily My husband was feeling moderate pain when I and my 13-month-old daughter on May 22, 2011, accompanied him to St. John's Hospital. While he ...more
November 08, 2011
This is dedicated to the family members of Jesse McKee who lost his life in the Joplin tornado this summer. He served his country, his community and his church. Griefby Patricia Hall As she ...more
October 03, 2011
by Mari Winn Taylor SELF-PHOTO REFLECTION Downtown Joplin was chosen as the location for participation in author/photographer Scott Kelby's annual Worldwide Photowalk. The event organized locally ...more
September 27, 2011
JOPLIN'S SURREAL DISTRUCTION - While I shake my head and say, “wow” quietly, a big man with a thick beard who overhears me says, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”..... by Joe Baker It was evening ...more
June 15, 2011
May 20, 2011
Traveling to paradise but you have to get there first! by Eileen Wacker When we relocated to Seoul, Korea from Connecticut, our four kids were aged 3 months, 17 months, 4-years-old and ...more
May 01, 2011
Notorious outlaw John Herbert Dillinger is seen with his arm on the shoulder of Lake County, Indiana prosecutor Robert G. Estill. Sheriff Lillian Holly is standing to the left of Estill. This staged ...more
February 28, 2011
Comments by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 A friend saw a refrigerator magnet that read, "PARENTING: THE FIRST 40 YEARS ARE THE HARDEST." And lots of parents, thinking their children have ...more
December 17, 2010
Allen R. Shirley, president of the Joplin Historical Society, holds up a framed memorial to the crew of the Enola Gay. History is often taught in the public school system as dry facts. ...more
November 18, 2010
Holding one of the large wreaths up for auction at Crowder College Foundation's 2010 Festival of Wreaths is Crowder cheerleader Jordyn Hickcox-Lobland while auctioneer Bob Lasswell announces the ...more
November 15, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 The first poem we published in this column, back in the spring of 2005, was by David Allan Evans, the Poet Laureate of South Dakota, and it's ...more
October 02, 2010
Paying The cat has burrs on his butt. Grabbing his haunches, he curls round himself. Working to remove the burrs, he bites down through his fur. The burrs are deeply embedded. He worries one to ...more
September 26, 2010
James Bogan, pictured, wears many hats--poet, author, and professor of arts, languages and philosophy at the Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla. But he brought his favorite hat, ...more
September 23, 2010
One immediate thought was, "Where have all the flowers gone?" But the poem below is not a war protest but just a realization of time passing. Here's a poem discovered a decade after having been ...more
September 06, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 In our busy times, the briefest pause to express a little interest in the natural world is praiseworthy. Most of us spend our time thinking ...more
September 06, 2010
A framed illustrated description of the "Foundations of the Church" informs visitors that the "Vatican and Catholic Church grew out of the events described in the New Testament: the story of Jesus, ...more
July 20, 2010
Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Peter Everwine is a California poet whose work I have admired for almost as long as I have been writing. Here he beautifully captures a quiet ...more
July 12, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Here's hoping that very few...readers have to go through cardiac rehab, which Thomas Reiter of New Jersey captures in this poem, but if they do, ...more
July 12, 2010
Just a sound, then a rustling of leaves, call attention to wildlife camouflaged in a tree. The pointer calls attention to the area of our property where the hens were spotted. So, I am ...more
June 28, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 I recognize the couple who are introduced in this poem by Patricia Frolander, of Sundance, WY, and perhaps you'll recognize them, too.  ...more
May 31, 2010
Comments by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Barnyard chickens, which are little more than reptiles with feathers, can be counted on to kill those among them who are malformed or diseased, ...more
May 24, 2010
Comment by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 We are sometimes amazed by how well the visually impaired navigate the world, but like the rest of us, they have found a way to do what interests ...more
April 01, 2010
By Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 When we hear news of a flood, that news is mostly about the living, about the survivors. But at the edges of floods are the dead, too. Here Michael ...more
March 22, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06-- All over this country, marriage counselors and therapists are right now speaking to couples about unspoken things. In this poem, Andrea ...more
March 15, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06 These days are brim full of bad news about our economy—businesses closing, people losing their houses, their jobs. If there's any comfort in a ...more
February 26, 2010
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Often when I dig some change out of my jeans pocket to pay somebody for something, the pennies and nickels are accompanied by a big gob of blue ...more
February 15, 2010
Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 A poem is an experience like any other, and we can learn as much or more about, say, an apple from a poem about an apple as from the apple ...more
February 13, 2010
This is a true story of lost love and hope. Back in the summer when I was 13 years old, we lived on the east side of Small Town Anywhere, U.S.A. I rode my bike a lot; almost every day. There ...more
January 18, 2010
At right, Mattie Gilmore and her mom Kenna Peters check out coordinates on Kenna's Delorme Earthmate GPS. They were looking for the closest geocache hidden in Joplin.     Below, Mattie signs ...more
December 15, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Family photographs, how much they do capture in all their elbow-to-elbow awkwardness. In this poem, Ben Vogt of Nebraska describes a color ...more
November 13, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 There are lots of poems in which a poet expresses belated appreciation for a parent, and if you don't know Robert Hayden's poem, "Those Winter ...more
October 05, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 An "aubade" is a poem about separation at dawn, but as you'll see, this one by Dore Kiesselbach, who lives in Minnesota, is about the complex ...more
September 22, 2009
Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 I tell my writing students that their most important task is to pay attention to what's going on around them. God is in the details, as we ...more
August 28, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 This column originates on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and at the beginning of each semester, we see parents helping their ...more
August 16, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 For over 40 years, Mark Vinz, of Moorhead, Minnesota--poet, teacher, publisher--has been a prominent advocate for the literature of the Upper ...more
July 13, 2009
Comments by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 There have been many poems written in which a photograph is described in detail, and this one by Margaret Kaufman, of the Bay Area in California, ...more
June 29, 2009
Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 There's lots of literature about the loss of innocence, because we all share in that loss and literature is about what we share. Here's a poem ...more
June 03, 2009
by Jack Kennedy Several years ago, every day I faced a quiet student in the front row of my English class. Every day I tried to get some oral response from this bright-looking soul in my ...more
May 18, 2009
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 American literature is rich with poems about the passage of time, and the inevitability of change, and how these affect us. Here is a poem by Kevin ...more
April 13, 2009
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 We've published this column about American life for over four years, and we have finally found a poem about one of the great American pastimes, ...more
March 24, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 I've gotten to the age at which I am starting to strain to hear things, but I am glad to have gotten to that age, all the same. Here's a fine ...more
March 17, 2009
by Daniel Patrick Welch Sláinte agus saol agat! Good health and long life to you. Another St. Patrick's Day is here, with its tacky kegs of green beer, leprechauns, lucky charms, fake plastic ...more
March 02, 2009
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Ah, yes, the mid-life crisis. And there's a lot of mid-life in which it can happen. Jerry Lee Lewis sang of it so well in "He's thirty-nine and ...more
February 23, 2009
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Memories have a way of attaching themselves to objects, to details, to physical tasks, and here, George Bilgere, an Ohio poet, happens upon mixed ...more
January 19, 2009
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Here's a fine poem by Chris Forhan of Indiana, about surviving the loss of a parent, and which celebrates the lives that survive it, that go on. I ...more
December 27, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 One of the most effective means for conveying strong emotion is to invest some real object with one's feelings, and then to let the object carry ...more
December 12, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Father and child doing a little math homework together; it's an everyday occurrence, but here, Russell Libby, a poet who writes from Three Sisters ...more
December 04, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 The first two lines of this poem pose a question many of us may have thought about: how does snow make silence even more silent? And notice Robert ...more
November 21, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Occupational hazards, well, you have to find yourself in the occupation to know about those. Here Minnie Bruce Pratt of Alabama gives us an inside ...more
November 08, 2008
By Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 In celebration of Veteran's Day, here is a telling poem by Gary Dop, a Minnesota poet. The veterans of World War II, now old, are dying by the thousands. ...more
October 30, 2008
Camp Crowder in Neosho, one of 30 camps in Missouri, housed between 2,000 and 2500 German prisoners during World War II. There were about 380,000 German PWs in 660 camps in every US state except ...more
October 09, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 When I was a boy, there were still a few veterans of the Spanish American War, and more of The Great War, or World War I, and now all those have ...more
September 27, 2008
Commentary by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Perhaps you made paper leaves when you were in grade school. I did. But are our memories as richly detailed as these by Washington, D.C. poet, ...more
August 28, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 I've always loved shop talk, with its wonderful language of tools and techniques. This poem by D. Nurkse of Brooklyn, NY, is a perfect example. I ...more
August 01, 2008
Review by Mark Adams "A light hearted romp" will not be found in any descriptions about The American Lie--Government by the People and Other Political Fables (Paradigm Publishers, July 2007), ...more
July 13, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 I don't often talk about poetic forms in this column, thinking that most of my readers aren't interested in how the clock works and would rather be ...more
July 03, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 Sometimes I think that people are at their happiest when they're engaged in activities close to the work of the earliest humans: telling stories ...more
June 09, 2008
American Life in Poetry is edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06. He offers these two poems: Texas poet R.S. Gwynn is a master of the light touch. Here he picks up on Gerard Manley ...more
May 09, 2008
Edited by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Though at the time it may not occur to us to call it "mentoring," there's likely to be a good deal of that sort of thing going on, wanted or ...more
January 31, 2008
Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-06 Elsewhere in this newspaper you may find some advice for maintaining and repairing troubled relationships. Here, in a poem by Linda Pastan of ...more
January 10, 2008
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a new name for "shell shock," a term once applied only to military veterans. Here the poet Marvin Bell describes a group of these emotionally damaged soldiers, ...more
January 05, 2008
Review by Jack Kennedy Sometimes, you can tell a book by its cover. That is evident from the moment you spy the dust jacket for Thank God for Evolution, with the subtitle How the marriage of ...more
December 30, 2007
By James H. Boren, PhD Two dozen chickens were hung on a lineNaked and gutted awaiting the signMarking approval to be served as a meal,Tender and wholesome with great food appeal. “Wait ...more
November 21, 2007
Two poems hit our e-mail from American Life in Poetry about growing old. The first one tells about forced retirement and how a husband compares his situation to that of his wife; the second one ...more
November 12, 2007
Assisting to educate one million people in the next 12 months about global warming is the role assumed locally by David Gordon, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Pittsburg State ...more
September 19, 2007
by Jack L. Kennedy "It can't happen here...." Not long ago, many of us thought school violence, threats, intimidation and killing could not occur in our own schools, whether small rural ...more
July 07, 2007
Round and Round by Daniel Patrick Welch On the occasion of the anniversary of US independence, this poem by Daniel Patrick Welch muses on the state of patriotism in the USA. In a brief jaunt ...more
June 20, 2007
This piece was written as a reaction to Who's Watching You?, a book by Mick Farren and John Gibb that describes how the US government using the excuse of terrorism has stepped up its surveillance and ...more
May 01, 2007
by Jack L. Kennedy There is beauty in simplicity, even when both are colored by pain. Disintegration, love and hope are the key factors in Deborah Shouse's Love in the Land of Dementia: ...more
March 15, 2007
Author/lecturer Kay Hively holds up a copy of Jon Cleary's 1977 novel, Vortex during a talk she gave for the Crowder College Friends of the Library on campus in Neosho. Cleary's story takes place ...more
March 09, 2007
by Dr. Stephen L. Timmeprofessor of botanyand director of the T. M. Sperry Herbarium, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS. A small bluet While hiking at Wildcat Glade (just at the ...more
March 05, 2007
The lunar eclipse on March 3, 2007 brought to mind this war analogy as the rounds of news from Iraq continues. WAR Eclipeby May Belle Osborne Blood red moonEclipses the stainThe message ...more
December 31, 2006
Interstate 40...the road home by Greg A. Land In high school I remember reading about 40-year reunions in my hometown newspaper, the Neosho Daily News. The people pictured seemed so ...more
November 21, 2006
Tax his land, tax his bed,Tax the table at which he's fed.Tax his tractor, tax his mule,Teach him taxes are the rule.Tax his cow, tax his goat,Tax his pants, tax his coat.Tax his ties, tax his ...more
October 31, 2006
For those of us that live in the Ozarks, the fall is a time when many trees change from the monotonous green of spring and summer to various shades of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. Unlike ...more
September 30, 2006
When you plan to go camping, do just that. PLAN! Though I am not a newcomer to camping, I’m not a big time outfitter either. I hadn’t been on a real, meaning more than one ...more
August 10, 2006
by Sid Knowles I have decided it is time that I throw my hat into the global warming debate. With the increase in temperatures throughout the world the need for a hat might not be as great as it ...more
June 27, 2006
For those of us who think that owls only can be identified by the sound, "whooooo-whooooo," members of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY have produced a learning tool. "Owls have a rich ...more
April 29, 2006
101 Reasons Why You Should Not Become a Cop is the provocative title chosen by author James Richard Warner. A police officer for over 19 years, Warner has collected experiences and challenges that ...more
April 06, 2006
“First dates are like job interviews with cocktails,” Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City” once said. The problem is many of us don’t know what to do during job ...more
March 28, 2006
How Could You?By Jim Willis Hoping to be your party animal(Photo by Matt Taylor) When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a ...more
February 22, 2006
By Jerry Vilhotti-- When Johnny Pump could walk, his 11-year-old sister Alice in Wonderland would dance with him as she stood on her knees. She would kiss his neck and rub his leg as they waltzed ...more
February 08, 2006
Lavaun Bushnell says she is inspired by situations around her. A resident of Neosho, Bushnell expresses her emotion over the decision by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to allow MoArk, ...more
December 14, 2005
A storella by Jerry Vilhotti-- Biagi so much wanted to get up and feel the vigor he felt as a 16 year old borrowing Tami Mauriello's robe - the very same man who had staggered the great Joe Louis ...more
June 10, 2005
“The rural and Scot-Irish influence on the Ozarks is seen in the region’s philosophy which has often been couched in humor,” said Dr. Jim Wirth, human development specialist, ...more
May 09, 2004
Jimmy Higgins Arrives In Lost River Bridge Copyright © Stephen P. Byers 2004 It was the summer of 1946. I remember like it was yesterday despite the elapse of forty-eight years. Cousin ...more
June 06, 2003
While Costa Rica touts itself as one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, for its visitors to view the flora and fauna in protected national parks and private wildlife reserves takes ...more
December 08, 2002
Intellectually we can commiserate with anyone who has experienced the death of a child. But, without firsthand knowledge we can't truly feel the anguish and grief. According to psychologists, ...more