Huisinga, Roger 1961-

views updated

Huisinga, Roger 1961-

PERSONAL:

Born November 13, 1961, in Clinton, IL; son of M. Linden (a farmer) and Marilyn (a cook) Huisinga; married, August 13, 1989; wife's name Barbara (an investment advisor); children: Travis, Ashley. Education: University of Illinois, B.S., 1985. Politics: "Varied." Religion: United Methodist.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Mansfield, IL. E-mail—[email protected]ahoo.com.

CAREER:

Custom applicator, farmer, and poet. Monticello Agriculture Center, Monticello, IL, custom applicator. Farmer of 600 acres of land in Central Illinois.

WRITINGS:

I Don't Know Jack: Poems in Search of Reason, Mayhaven (Mahomet, IL), 2005.

Forty Acres of Thoughts: Poems from around the Bend, Mayhaven (Mahomet, IL), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Roger Huisinga is an American custom applicator, farmer, and poet. Huisinga was born in Clinton, Illinois, the son of a farmer and a cook. Although he did not always live in the Midwest, his work reflects a strong connection to the region. Huisinga completed a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois in 1985. He went on to work at an agricultural fertilizer company and to farm 600 acres of land.

Huisinga published his first book of poetry, I Don't Know Jack: Poems in Search of Reason, in 2005. The book takes a pointedly Midwestern regional perspective on the world through Huisinga's eyes. He explains his views on the region, the lives of those around him and who influence or inspire him, religion, and more controversial issues, including war, drugs, politics, and abortion. A contributor to the Midwest Book Review commented that Huisinga's book of poetry is "original and highly commended." The same contributor noted the "keen observations" he makes through the versed poetry.

Roger Huisinga told CA: "My roots have always been firmly planted in the Midwest even when I have lived elsewhere and done other things. My family farmed while I was growing up, and I have come back to the Midwest and farm myself now. I also have a full time job in the fertilizer industry, which is very much agriculturally related."

Huisinga followed his debut book of poetry with a second book in 2006, called Forty Acres of Thoughts: Poems from around the Bend.

"I started writing a few years ago to make sure my kids knew where I stood on different issues that they would be facing in life. You never know when life might separate you from your loved ones for good, and I had some things to say. My first book, I Don't Know Jack, covers many of the things that I wanted to say to my children and to all youngsters really. It encompasses many of my philosophies and the good country wisdom that influenced my life. Many of those poems were influenced by local elders who taught me the lessons of life and are presented in a style influenced by a combination of Mark Twain and Aesop's fables. They are written in a country style with a lesson involved.

"As I continue into my second book, I realize that people were more interested in the stories that put a smile on their face. As I wrote Forty Acres of Thoughts, my focus was more on the preservation of the good country story. So many good stories are lost over time when the coffee shop crowd dwindles and that good country charm is forever lost and forgotten. Many of my poetic stories are just country legend, polished a little and put to verse. I find these are the ones that bring a smile to people's faces."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Midwest Book Review, November, 2005, review of I Don't Know Jack: Poems in Search of Reason.