October 2022: Michigan Poet-Veteran Explores Human Terrain of Post-War Trauma


A prolific creator of books and anthologies centered on Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Ron Riekki now delivers an insightful, poetic exploration of wartime trauma and healing

Riekki is an author of poetry, fiction, memoir, theater, and film. He is also an Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran of the U.S. Navy, as well as the U.S. Air Force Reserve. 

“With gusty cuts and scalpel grace, Ron Riekki is clear-eyed and unsentimental as he navigates his own human terrain back from war and other traumas. Military veterans and families of all eras will appreciate how Riekki lights his way—his waypoints may differ from yours, but our journeys are often the same,” says Randy Brown, editor and publisher of Middle West Press.

In 2019, Riekki authored My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting In Extinction, a collection of non-fiction, short stories, and poetry about the Karelian- and Sámi-American experience. He also wrote Posttraumatic: A Memoir. His 2008 novel, U.P., explores the lives of four teenage boys growing up in the Northern Michigan mining towns of Ishpeming and Negaunee. 

Riekki is editor of 2013’s The Way North, a literary anthology centered on the Upper Peninsula. He is also co-editor of the 2019 poetry anthology Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, and the 2015 literary anthology Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Both titles were published by Michigan State University Press.

“Riekki is very important as a regionalist writer, but also as a regionalist editor and promoter for the writings of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula,” American Book Review’s Jeffrey A. Sartain has said. “Because of that, he’s very interested in the role writing has and how that relates to notions of place, space, time and context.” 

Starting Oct. 1, 2022:

BLOOD / NOT BLOOD Then the Gates (96 pages, Middle West Press LLC) is available in a $11.99 trade paperback edition through Amazon and other booksellers, as well as a $5.99 Kindle e-book edition exclusively via Amazon. 

Middle West Press LLC (www.middlewestpress.com) is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. As an independent micro-press, we publish one to four titles annually. Our projects are often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest.

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