Danger, Man Working: Writing from the Heart, the Gut, and the Poison Ivy Patch

By Michael Perry

Paperback: $18.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-840-9

Paperback: $18.95 288 pages, 5.5 x 8.25 ISBN: 978-0-87020-840-9 E-book Edition Available


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The latest from New York Times best-selling writer MICHAEL PERRY!

A Midwest Connections Pick for October 2017!  & A Midwest Connections Bestseller!

Selected one of the Twelve Books of Christmas 2017!

"Every writer has advice for aspiring writers. Mine is predicated on formative years spent cleaning my father's calf pens: Just keep shoveling until you've got a pile so big, someone has to notice. The fact that I cast my life's work as slung manure simply proves that I recognize an apt metaphor when I accidentally stick it with a pitchfork. . . . Poetry was my first love, my gateway drug -- still the poets are my favorites -- but I quickly realized I lacked the chops or insights to survive on verse alone. But I wanted to write. Every day. And so I read everything I could about freelancing, and started shoveling."

The pieces gathered within this book draw on fifteen years of what New York Times best-selling author Michael Perry calls "shovel time" -- a writer going to work as the work is offered. The range of subjects is wide,from musky fishing, puking, mountain-climbing, Iraq War veterans to the frozen head of Ted Williams. Some assignments lead to self-examination of an alarming magnitude (as Perry notes, "It quickly becomes obvious that I am a self-absorbed hypochondriac forever resolving to do better nutritionally and fitness-wise but my follow-through is laughable.")

But his favorites are those that allow him to turn the lens outward: "My greatest privilege," he says, "lies not in telling my own story; it lies in being trusted to tell the story of another."

Discover more Michael Perry essays in his other Wisconsin Historical Society Press books: Roughneck Grace: Farmer Yoga, Creeping Codgerism, Apple Golf and Other Brief Essays from On and Off the Back Forty as well as From the Top: Brief Transmissions from Tent Show Radio!

To receive a media review copy, to interview the author, or for more information, contact the Wisconsin Historical Society Press at whspress@wisconsinhistory.org.


Michael Perry is a newspaper columnist and the author of numerous books including "Population:485" and Society Press's Roughneck Grace and From the Top, as well as the New York Times bestseller "Visiting Tom." His live humor recordings include "Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow" and "The Clodhopper Monologues." He lives in rural Wisconsin with his wife and daughters and is privileged to serve as a first responder with the local fire department. He can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.