Rootstalk is a gathering place for thinking and writing about the prairie region—an area that stretches from the Canadian plains to the panhandle of Texas and from eastern Indiana to the eastern high desert of Colorado.

We publish work concerned with the prairie, whether it explores the region’s natural environment, its economics, politics, culture, society, visual arts, music, or architecture. In addition to writing on these subjects, we publish poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as music and other sound files, short films, photography and 2D and 2D representations of 3D art. We strive to provide a flexible forum for lovers of our region, and for its thinkers: if it affects or reflects upon life in the prairie region, it has a place here: from the evolution of farm policy to the evolution of forbs, from the death of a small town church to the birth of a new symphony, from stories and poems that concern themselves with the spirit, through medical memoirs that plumb the connection between land and body. We do not dictate form; our only requirement is depth of engagement and quality. That said, we are also vitally interested in providing a place for those whose voices are too often passed over, and are committed to working with contributors whose ideas outstrip their experience as writers.

We hope every issue will be a conversation—heady, discursive, wide-ranging, thought-provoking, and even infuriating—and that it will invite readers in from all walks of life and sectors of Midwestern society to stimulate further conversation. Our ambitions are not partisan, but neither are they apolitical; we hope to challenge policymakers to learn more about our region; to push scientists and academics to think ever more seriously and deeply about this place; to move artists to consider the richness and depth of life’s fabric on the prairie, and to help residents of our towns, cities and rural settings to think about where and how they live. We want every issue to pull our readers in, anchor them you to their chairs, make them think more, and more deeply. Issue by issue, we hope to explore, and even to make sense of, the subjects that define life here where the tallgrass and shortgrass grow.