May 22, 2017

Gene R. Stark

Gene Stark croppedMinnesota-born Gene R. Stark grew up in a rural, outdoor lifestyle.  Fishing, gardening, hunting, and trapping have been formative ingredients in a life of outdoor work and self-sufficiency.  His writing reflects the unique beauty and culture of rural middle America.  Drawing a livelihood from organic farming, native-plant nursery production, and the trapline, have formed the basis for endearing homespun characters in his fiction, a sense of rough-hewn  reality in his non-fiction, and a transforming beauty and commoness in his poetry.

We live where the sun rises when it hits the horizon, not when it tops a building.  We listen to the weather forecast because it really matters to us; it influences what we will do, what direction our day will take.  To us, the weather is not a matter of if we take an umbrella to work, but rather what our work will consist of for the upcoming day.  The weather dictates what we will be able to do and even influences what road we will take to town if that is on the agenda.  The season, the slant of the sun’s rays, the humidity, and the temperature, all regulate our lives.

We occupy ‘flyover country,’ the vast space between the coasts of our continent.  The goal of my writing is to portray the unique culture and beauty of our own slice of Flyover Country here in the rural Midwest.



Introducing  Water and Dirt (North Star Press, 2013)

Water and Dirt tells the story of a Successful New York businessman Rutherford “Runt” Hobbes as he ponders his past life; orphaned and crippled at birth he slogged through the essence of survival in rural Minnesota. Surrounded by a colloquial bunch of characters, embodied in Buck the curmudgeon bar-fly, happy-go-lucky Uncle Mike, and a role model for life in Aunt Dorothy, Runt learns to grapple with the mysteries and realities of life. With the drums of the Vietnam war sounding constantly in the background, the realities of life in rural Minnesota can change quickly from frozen lakes to rice paddies, and the rush of water down a pristine stream can meld into the rush of traffic on a busy New York street.


51azoh1AcWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_[1]The poetry of “Flyover Seasons” takes us on an outdoor journey through the changing landscapes and moods of the year.  From the frozen bloody shadows of a moonlit January night to the hot breath of a summer solstice day, the moods of the seasons grip us and mold us into what we are.



Tracks-In-The-Mud-199x300[1]“Tracks in the Mud” is a personal chronicle of a unique time when the greatest fur boom in history hit our continent.  Still little known, as much of the fur boom flew by under the radar screen of most Americans, I’ve portrayed the highs and lows, the competition, the beauty and freedom of the full time trap-line, as well as the joy of being able to fulfill life-long dreams.

Gene R. Stark is an author who was born and raised in Minnesota.  He has been a teacher,  a farmer, a trapper, and greenhouse grower. He enjoys writing about the outdoors and the people and culture of rural America.


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