ZACHARY MICHAEL JACK has published more than twenty award-winning books in a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, literary journalism, creative nonfiction, and personal essay for adults and young adults alike, in addition to his work as an active playwright. Zachary’s fiction has earned national runner-up honors in its class in the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award; his poetry has been awarded the Prentice Hall Prize, and his nonfiction has been shortlisted for best books of the year. The author and his work have been featured in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Examiner, among many others. Zachary’s eclectic books have been favorably reviewed by industry-leading opinion-makers such as The New York Review of Books, Publisher’s Weekly, Choice, Kirkus, and Foreword Reviews. An associate professor of English and a member of the graduate faculties in Liberal Arts Studies (MALS) and Leadership Studies, Zachary teaches aspiring writers and future leaders at North Central College.
Wish You Were Here: Love and Longing in an American Heartland was the subject of a recent television interview. Watch the segment with author Zachary Michael Jack here.
Iconic Midwest bookstore Prairie Lights hosts Zachary Michael Jack and his latest nonfiction book Wish You Here Here: Loving and Longing in an American Heartland as part of their long-running Live from Prairie Lights broadcast reading series in partnership with the University of Iowa digital archives.
Zachary Michael Jack’s six op-eds published during the week before and after the Inauguration landed in national venues from coast to coast, from the Des Moines Register, to the San Francisco Chronicle, to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to the Washington Examiner. Read more about the breadth of the national outreach in the news story “Zachary Michael Jack reaches national audience.”
Truman State University Press has recently released the long-awaited Midwest memoir by Zachary Michael Jack Wish You Were Here, Love and Longing in an American Heartland. Early news and reviews may be found at the publisher website.
The Young Adult Library Association (YALSA) blog highlights March of the Suffragettes by Zachary Michael Jack as among the most noteworthy young adult narrative nonfictions with social justice themes in recent years. Reviewer Alicia Abdul writes, “Social change starts with a step and for Rosalie Gardiner Jones who gathered a group of people to walk with her to Albany from New York City to win rights for women in the voting booth. There were many voices that contributed. Some we know well and others like Jones need accessible texts like this one that highlight the outspoken bravery it took to fight for certain rights.” Check out the full listing of recommended YA social change nonfiction from the last five years at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2016/12/06/narrative-nonfiction-social-justice/
“In 1912, a well-educated woman from an established New York family led a 175-mile march from New York City to the state capitol in Albany with the goal of handing the governor a petition urging him to support voting rights for women. A trek that began with much hoopla and a huge turnout of supporters eventually came down to just Rosalie Gardiner Jones and her associates Ida Craft, Lavinia Dock, and Jessie Hardy Stubbs. They refused to be dissuaded by family members, unruly bystanders, the lack of food, and the cold weather. Their dedication to the cause was as strong as their friendship for one another, and this combination catapulted them to success. With an informal writing style, this is an engaging title that will appeal to many readers. The use of newspapers accounts of the march helps bring this event into the 21st century.” VERDICT A fine chronicle of the early 20th-century United States and the tenacity of Rosalie Gardiner Jones.–Patricia Ann Owens, formerly at Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Mt. Carmel.
Cornell University Press recently reissued Zachary Michael Jack’s popular title Liberty Hyde Bailey: Essential Environmental and Agrarian Writings in paperback for 2016. Sample some of the many positive reviews below:
“It’s strange that Bailey (1858–1954) is not more of a household name. Teacher, botanist, horticulturist, rural sociologist, administrator, encyclopedist, poet, photographer, visionary, Bailey did a lot and wrote even more. Jack’s judicious selections and annotations provide readers with a neat digest of Bailey’s ideas on education, democracy, agriculture, nature, and community. His theme is essentially agrarian, chiefly a concern for the ills that befall people who are at a distance from the things of the earth. In a style that is at once impressionistic, scientific, and surpassingly poetic, he urges us to pay attention, or, in contemporary parlance, be mindful. His prescience is startling; for example, he wrote in 1911, ‘when the new lands have all been opened to cultivation, and when thousands of millions of human beings occupy the earth, the demand for food will constitute a problem which we scarcely apprehend today. We shall then be obliged to develop self-sustaining methods of maintaining the producing power of land.’ With a revelation on nearly every page, this collection is highly recommended for all libraries looking to bolster their environmental history collections.”―Library Journal
“I thank Zachary Michael Jack for the care and skill he exhibited in retrieving Bailey’s voice, and I look forward to revelations that will surely come among those who take the time to listen to it.” –Agricultural History
“What a great and lucky thing to have these soaring words back in print―and at exactly the right moment. It’s clear, looking at our dwindling supplies of oil, that we’re going to need more Americans doing the noble work of farming, literally following in Bailey’s footsteps.”―Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
“At a time when the need for environmentalism was just beginning to be recognized, Liberty Hyde Bailey was already writing passionately about the importance of a better attitude toward the land, and how the need was increasing with the expansion of urbanism. His vision spoke prophetically of the increasing need to act responsibly to the environment―a clear antecedent to Aldo Leopold’s call for an ethical relationship to the land.”―A. Carl Leopold
“This is a delightful book. The collection of essays Zachary Michael Jack has selected provide the reader with a remarkably comprehensive picture of the life and work of Liberty Hyde Bailey. The timing of this book could not be better: As we approach the end of the industrial era the prescient vision Bailey offered to us in such lyric form may now help us redefine the meaning of progress and well-being.”―Fred Kirschenmann, Director, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, and President, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocontico Hills, NY