Clarence Jonk, 1906-1987

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Clarence Jonk

Clarence Jonk is one of the great, unheralded storytellers in American letters. Born and raised on a farm in western Minnesota, he grew up in a community of Dutch immigrants in the early 1900s. After “escaping” to the University of Minnesota he decided--in the heart of the Great Depression--to build a houseboat and float it down the Mississippi. His adventures were chronicled in “River Journey,” a small classic of Depression life along the river.

For more than five decades he wrote poetry, publishing a series of small, quickly forgotten books. But he found his niche as a storyteller. His skill at bringing characters to life, capturing the detail of the America of his time and sustaining a narrative flow surprises, amuses and delights. Clarence Jonk’s stories and poems record--through the eyes of a unique and engaging individual--an era that has long since passed into our national mythology.

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Salmon Creek
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