The whole damned United States of America
stretches from the soaring sand dunes of the Pacific Northwest
to the pristine beaches along aquamarine water in the southeast.
The sprawling country encompasses mountains, plains, wetlands and woodlands.
But anodyne suburban strip malls eat up more and more and more
of a landscape that was once diverse, that was once as varied and lost
as the restless souls that pressed ever westward, toward an undefined goal.
Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War infantry veteran, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, a photographer, the editor-in-chief of the Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, a Sunday newspaper columnist, a frequent guest on Lakeshore Public Radio. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee whose writing and photography have appeared in more than 200 literary journals, including
As You Were, O-Dark-Thirty, Dogzplot, Stoneboat, Proximity Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Pulp Modern, The High Window, Synesthesia Literary Journal, Steep Street Journal, Beautiful Losers, New Pop Lit, The Grief Diaries, Gravel, The Offbeat, Oddball Magazine, Bull Men’s Fiction, The Perch Magazine, Rising Phoenix Review, Chicago Literati, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
His writing has been featured in several books, including Indiana at 200, Poets to Come: Walt Whitman’s Bicentennial, Words and Other Wild Things, and Sex, Drugs and Copenhagen. He’s had plays staged at the Detroit Heritage Theater Festival and Salem State University’s 10-Minute Veterans Play Festival. His book Lost Hammond, Indiana is forthcoming from The History Press. His infantry regiment had the somewhat futilitarian and completely uninspiring motto “I’ll Try, Sir.”