Welcome to January

Crystals of hoarfrost


Across the landscape

          and sparkle

              like diamonds

In the early morning sunlight.

We welcome you to the first issue of a new year of Voice of the River Valley! 

Just as these pages went to press, our nook of the Driftless Area received the first significant snowfall of the season, turning our landscapes into visions of winter wonderlands evoked by Spring Green artist Jen Salt’s words and art above.

As we embark upon a new year in which we continue our noble quest to discover and share the jewels of the place we call home, these pages introduce two new columns that address the reality of life in our rural Driftless Area communities.

Driftless Gems (p. 4) is a new monthly column celebrating the nonprofit arts, culture, humanities and nature organizations that do the work of articulating, conserving and developing the unique resources of our region. The Antiracism Open Mic (p. 8) is a new monthly forum dedicated to illuminating efforts by individuals and organizations in our region to confront the systemic racism that continues to plague our country.  

Meanwhile, we continue the drumbeat of familiar columns, with new and returning Voices. This month you will enjoy Mary Friedel-Hunt, Tim Gittings, Doris Green, Colleen Halverson, John Heasley, Dee Lambert and Jennifer Moore-Kerr; the photography of Don Greenwood; calendar listings; and more!

As we turn the calendar page to a new year, we remain grateful to our advertisers, subscribers, contributors, distributors — Joni and Rick, Joy, Linda, Mark, Nick and Rountree Gallery volunteers — subscribers and you, dear readers.

Happy reading,