"Each generation should have its own Mark Twain... this generation could lay claim to Jerry Engler"
--Bob Spear, reviewer for Heartland Reviews.
Jerry Engler is the author of three books, two of them books of fiction short stories, Just Folks: Earthy Tales of the Prairie Heartland and A Heartland Voice: Just Folks Two , available at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com.
His third book, Highly Embellished Truth and Some Poetry: Just Folks Three, which includes both fiction short stories and poetry, was published in December, 2008.
He grew up on a family farm southwest of Topeka with a large extended family an important part of his life. His home area countryside was predominantly farmland back then rather than suburbs.
He was an avid reader often finishing at least one book a week, sometimes more.
He says he was destined to get an education because there was always a library in his classroom when he decided regular classes weren't interesting enough. He'd not only read every dog and horse book by the time he left elementary school, but also all of the Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and other great classic novels the libraries had.
Jerry says, "I also liked to watch birds and animals, and they'll teach you a lot. Nothing beats an hour under a shade tree for inspiration and perspiration if there's no breeze."
He and his wife, Belinda, have lived in rural situations for their adult lives with kids,generations of dogs, horses and cats, and other animals.
Their home now is two miles from where the Cottonwood River flows into Marion Reservoir, a location where visitors watch flocks of white pelicans in summer and bald eagles in winter.It's a good setting for Belinda's work in giving "horsemanship" lessons with her Welsh ponies and Morgan/Arabian horses...a place to mentor kids.
Jerry says it's a place where coyotes and bobcats compete to outnumber the people."
Jerry has a B.S. from Kansas State University, and did graduate work both there and at the University of Missouri where he says he finished with a marriage license.
He has written extensively for daily newspapers, weekly newspapers and magazines with thousands of articles written especially for readers in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. His commitment to authenticity probably received a boost because he started professionally as a research news writer for the University of Missouri.
"I thought 100 column inches published in a semester was a lot when they told me I had to do that for a college course. In the newspaper business, 100 column inches published weekly wasn't a lot at all."
He says, "There's no education that can beat the booms and busts of life," and his stories seem to reflect that. The short stories in his three books are known for their authenticity, humor, unique style, vivid description, warmth, and understanding of both nature and human behavior.
Critics and fans are saying that is why they call him "The Voice of the Heartland."
Jerry tells people that "most of my stories are either highly embellished truth or complete concoctions. That's how the title for my third book came about, Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry. The fun part for me is that people usually can't tell the difference. I have yet to have anyone tell me I write some pretty good lies.
"People also tell me my stories uplift them. I like that.
"I also like fiction because it allows the space to crunch the English language, and play with it.
"But just when I thought short stories defined me, they introduced me as the poet, Jerry Engler."
Birth Place: Topeka, KS USA
Accomplishments: Jerry has received recognition many times, he feels most notably an award for poetry from Kansas State University. He was selected to speak and read at the governor's first annual convention for the book, and has been marked as a favorite speaking to library groups. He has set records three times at the state fair which gives him the "market verification" he likes. Book stores frequently say he is their best "author signer" meeting the public.
Other than that he says his greatest reward is hearing back from readers who enjoyed his stories. "I like to hear that one of my stories made someone feel good, or gave them a special insight--or simply gave them a good chuckle at the moment.
"At the fair this year, I heard from a California man that he saw my books on the tables at a small-town Southern Utah restaurant for the customers to read the short stories while waiting. I think that's really neat. It's the kind of news I like to hear.
"I don't like to enter contests, and try not to do so unless it is something that you are automatically in to belong to a group. I want my stories to be written with the people in mind, and not because of the requirements of a contest."
His books have been selected as finalists for Kansas Notable Books.
Short Stories Oswald K. Underfoot finds a firefight treasure by Jerry W. Engler This is another in a series of Oswald K. Underfoot stories,a character who origninally was introduced when Leon Gambel hired him to get what was killing his sheep, which turned out to be a cougar that... The Hanging of the Greens by Jerry W. Engler OK boys and girls. Here's a holiday special whether you're preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas, guaranteed to give a heartfelt tightening to your throat clear up through your ears. Funny how AD ... Payback Time' for Mean Dean by Jerry W. Engler This is a story born of a hope that all the mean guys get what's coming to them without necessarily killing them.... The St. Louie Bird Call by Jerry W. Engler Our Bird encounters the Teamsters in an old trucking story that shows what it was like to be in St. Louis during a union strike.
It also is a commentary on how to live life asking the pivotal que... A Flower Girl Sister Surprise by Jerry W. Engler This is a story that studies what people might do for each other outside the realm of usual expectation. It is among stories that I wrote, and then rejected until they could be rewritten. Feel free to... One of our own by Jerry W. Engler An old Indian celebrates the casinos, and ends up with more than casino interest.... Ignacio rode by Jerry W. Engler Who was Ignacio? That is for you to decide for yourself.... We're not lion, somethin's happenin' by Jerry W. Engler Jerry Engler's gang at the Deerhead Tavern works through why there's a danger in saying "nothing ever happens here."... Poor Hemingway by Jerry W. Engler Jerry Engler was challenged to write a pun using certain words, so he chose poor Ernest Hemingway's book, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, to come up with this questionable masterpiece.... Charmin' Carmen Finds His Soul by Jerry W. Engler This is a story that will be in my third book coming out this fall which I am pleased to announce here will be called "Highly Embellished Truth And Some Poetry: Just Folks Three." The story is actuall... Crank One Long For Central by Jerry W. Engler Kids were kids even back in the rural and farm areas in the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's and early 1960's when the telephone service was much different than it is today. The phones were wooden boxes wit... Anna Marie, You'll Be With Me by Jerry W. Engler Who knows what a person might see as they near the death experience in the final year of life? Perhaps ours is not to doubt them at this time, but to give them the benefit that we believe in them.
Harlan Medlam milks a mudhole by Jerry W. Engler This is a colorful piece of man and horse coming to the rescue, with Harlan Medlam, as usual, figuring how to turn it to his advantage.... Eddy Burnt By Harlan Medlam's Lucky Happy Birthday by Jerry W. Engler This is a spring clean-up day story featuring a favorite character a critic called Jerry Engler's elderly Tom Sawyer, the one and only Harlan Medlam on his lucky happy birthday.
Harlan helped boo... Be thankful for friends in all forms by Jerry W. Engler Many readers have been telling me they consider this to be a classic story in its own time, a wonderful historic Thanksgiving story of the one-room schoolhouse . Some have said this one story was wor... Bob-a-Long Sings a Diffferent Song by Jerry W. Engler I see the color yellow. You see the color yellow. Although we can agree we are both seeing yellow, inside your brain is the interpretation of yellow really the same vision that my brain interprets as ... Wild Willy takes a bite out of Curley Red by Jerry W. Engler Domesticating a half wild animal may only be half successful.... Prowling for Kitty Cat Barbe-coon by Jerry W. Engler A Ricky and Roland comedy where Ricky tries to return to his roots with a raccoon hunt, only it throws him a twist in the end.... Introductory dialogues by Jerry W. Engler Dicussions by characters Ricky and Roland in the introductions of Jerry Engler's books... Some like it hot, but not Julius by Jerry W. Engler One more father learns that he never understood his daughter, and not as much of the world as he thought either.... People flocked to see rodeo dog by Jerry W. Engler Genetics and human-animal roles are given new twists with romantic humor.... The day the Kaw delivered new life by Jerry W. Engler A fossil and artifacts hunter on the Kaw River makes the discoveries of his life.... Getting married is a matter of faiths by Jerry W. Engler Young men find out getting married isn't the same from culture to culture from an Indian with a sense of humor and an unusual Hindu taste for beef.... Tillie and the secret she knew by Jerry W. Engler Tillie was a dog who didn't want her master to go.... Driven by love to sleep on a bench by Jerry W. Engler Harlan and Florence Medlam are up to their usual methods of business dealings in this story that introduced the couple to readers....
Poetry NightWake by Jerry W. Engler The poem's description most likely will suffice.... Mercy, My Own by Jerry W. Engler Let's call this a different sort of prayer for Thanksgiving.... My Room by Jerry W. Engler My room is not like your room although it's a little like your room with different beginnings and arrangements.... When Dark Chaos Overcomes Me by Jerry W. Engler Sometimes in the dark pit of depression, the Lord himself may reach to pull us out, "our good and constant friend." I recommend you read Proverbs Three. ... Endure, Endure, and Endure by Jerry W. Engler I've had my down times, too, and the cold of winter doesn't always help. But, I'm still here, and you're still here, and my hope is that you'll join me in saying we're going to be here some more... Oh my father by Jerry W. Engler This is a prayer for a veteran who thinks he can go to hell for being in war.... Puppy Love Roast by Jerry W. Engler If you don't like coffee, dogs or grumpy old men, you might want to skip this poem. ... Dot Com by Jerry W. Engler Just getting computer screen fatigue here. Got to scratching, had to itch. Brain took off on its own with a dot-dot song. That's a problem when you let someone else hold your remote. Too much work, an... Lamentation Comprehension by Jerry W. Engler The contemplations of winter's short days by the fire arouse memories of those gone before and the benefits of our Creator's care. Consider Paul's insight: "Now we see through a glass darkly."... Icky Banaki Childhood Dreamland by Jerry W. Engler Who told anybody that I wanted to grow up? Lord, help me be forever young.... Love Decision by Jerry W. Engler Love is a force that doesn't always stay conveniently in the bottom of the bowl.... Corn Slumber by Jerry W. Engler November, a month of the fall harvest,an attempt to capture of the feel of yester-life.... Sand River by Jerry W. Engler Life lived is a little like this. Life not lived is a little like this. They are times of contemplation before the winter fires looking forward to Christmas.... Blue Found by Jerry W. Engler Lessons of life can come from the fury of winter, the abundance of mercy in a world even when it seems not to exist. Happy Thanksgiving.... Biometrics Truth by Jerry W. Engler The truth is all around us. What is lacking is the ability to perceive. This is a message to take to heart for Thanksgiving.... Daddy Said by Jerry W. Engler A just for fun. I've been away so long from AD that I hope you forgive me, and read this anyway.... Spring Breath by Jerry W. Engler To experience the new hope of spring must be like the passion of love, the awakening of hope, the fires of awareness, the embrace of your true partner.... Long House by Jerry W. Engler What's fond in your memories seems to depend on where and how you grew up.... Season's Climax by Jerry W. Engler Fall can be a time for poignant happiness, for silent meditation concerning what life brings.... Oak Roots by Jerry W. Engler An observation, a memory, a word of respect for some of the best whoever worked the earth for all of us--they were their own culture.... Black Ann Shattio by Jerry W. Engler It is not enough just to thank those we have shared this life with. Sometimes it is good to thank those who have gone before us.
There is an alternative historical opinion to the story told here. ... Adam's Apple Search by Jerry W. Engler Feeling a little ornery today looking at the state of humankind, and decided to enliven it with a bit of decadent, rural insight by a free spirit who walks the earth.... Green Blades by Jerry W. Engler If only I had taken this to heart when I was younger, but then, too often the young must learn it for themselves. Now I must learn to get rid of the if only.... Spider's Surprise by Jerry W. Engler Surprising all the entanglements when someone sets out to degrade another only to find out they were the one hurt.... Blue Swirls by Jerry W. Engler Granting your love partner the freedom to be a separate person is necessary, but it can also make you unsure....
Articles Conniving My Retirement by Jerry W. Engler This is one of Jerry's columns from the Hillsboro Free Press. The newspaper copyrighted it, but permission is hereby granted to reprint it if credit is given to the Free Press and Jerry. Now that's qu... Geo-referencing Soil pH for Liming by Jerry W. Engler New technologies lead to more changes plus keep the environment cleaner.... Mexican Retriever, Huh by Jerry W. Engler You want to have an opinion, you go see for yourself. A Jerry Engler column from the Hillsboro Free Press.... A Fair Love Affair by Jerry W. Engler This is part of the "how come I do so well at fairs," and maybe it can help another author. When autumn came in Topeka, I was always ready for the fair.... Well, There's a Power Struggle by Jerry W. Engler Gee, it seems the less effort I put into something, the better I'm liked--kind of like gun-slinging with such a loose holster, you shoot yourself in the foot.... Author Youtubed by Jerry W. Engler OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Winter for the Birds by Jerry W. Engler Here's an article for all the bird lovers who may want to see some different things over the holidays and winter season.... Desperate Self-Definition Times for America by Jerry W. Engler With wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, we shouldn't avoid the lessons of the 1960's, or be afraid to choose to define ourselves because of political correctness.... King Corn by Jerry W. Engler This is one of the types of articles I typically do for the newspaper here, and also is representative of many articles done through my life as an agricultural writer and farm editor. It's talking ab... Build a jail, never fail by Jerry W. Engler Sometimes local issues allow you to put your views out in a regular local newspaper column like I did. Them opposed to me called this column a waste of space that said nothing. Them who love me said "... Depression Can Help by Jerry W. Engler Sometimes the insights that enhance life arrive at the moments of worst sadness.... Writing Living Henry's Dream by Jerry W. Engler I hope that you find an artist trying to explain his own work useful in some way.... Poop Fluttering Preferred by Jerry W. Engler Have you had enough of the bailouts? Me, too. It's time for some straight poop, or at least some poop alternatives. Yes, they let me loose on the newspaper soap box again, even after the terrors of my... Windmills and Scrambled Eggs by Jerry W. Engler We need to sort out what really is in our interest instead of what we are told is our interest, the wolf said to the sheep. With the Obama bailout taking shape and state governments scrambling to get ... Longhorns a Colorful Business by Jerry W. Engler The Longhorn cattle of history are a great family enterprise. Their wildlife hardiness and characteristics make sense in terms of human and animal nutrition. The multi-colored cattle have many advanta... Outside the box by Jerry W. Engler $700 billion is a lot of money around here. But this is Wall Street bankers we're bailing out, so it's chicken feed, right?... Energy Populism Outside The Box by Jerry W. Engler This article was written about Kansas, but I challenge you to let it apply to your state and locale too. The time has come for energy populism.... Mennonite Heritage Saved by Jerry W. Engler One man's concern helped his Goessel, Kansas, Mennonite community, and the community returned it as an honor 30 years later.... Rhubarb date was sweet not tart by Jerry W. Engler Glasco,Kansas, is the site of the annual Rhubarb festival where folks blessed with gluttony for rhubarb can chow down on all sorts of rhubarb pies, cobblers, rolls, puddings, etc. Who else to invite t... Engler the Campaigner by Jerry W. Engler These are testimonials from book managers. Only first names are used to avoid conflict with corporate policies.... Engler the real McCoy by Jerry W. Engler These are some testimonials for Jerry Engler's work. Only first names are used to avoid conflict with corporate policy.... Grand Funk Railroad coming to our town by Jerry W. Engler This article is an interview with Grand Funk Railroad drummer and leader Don Brewer just before the group was to play for Chingawassa Days in the small town of Marion, Kansas. The name, Chingawassa, s... Land use attitude change needed by Jerry W. Engler Fuel prices and other concerns are changing the way we live to the point that we may need to rethink what may actually be our number one problem, land use. The change may extend to government but must... Heart transplant no longer needed by Jerry W. Engler Exercise, drugs and medical knowhow contribute to bringing Gerald Kelsey of Marion, Kansas, off the heart transplant list, but you can't beat the biggest factors of all, faith, family and friends supp... Doc's love of animals and earth drives work by Jerry W. Engler A retiring veterinarian says "reality" would make a great policy for the United States....
I came to AD with a reputation as a short story writer and newspaper journalist. Although I drew praise as a poet back in the 1980's, I also have been a magazine editor. I had stopped pursuing it. AD has stimulated me to return to poetry, and I am very pleased with the way it has been received. My poem, Oh my Father, appeared in many newspapers for Veterans' Day. Now I also have had the experience of reading it as a eulogy at my father's funeral.
The poet laureate of the State of Kansas, has offered my poetry rare praise.
I still consider myself primarily a story teller. I am pleased that book sales are beginning to verify my work as worthy with readers. The far reach of my work has surprised me. I didn't anticipate that people in Europe and other parts of the world would read my work. . I now know that my books have gone to The United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Canada and Australia as well as in many states. I didn't know that people in urban areas of the United States would like it, and respond to it as much as they have. I expected older readership, but I also have been surprised by the number of college students, and people younger than that who enjoy my work. My oldest fan that I know of is a lady 104 years old who said to hurry up, and get my third book done. She's already read the first two.
At book signings in Dodge City and Garden City, it was rewarding to have second-generation immigrant young people buy my books. They were of Laotian and Mexican descent.
I find it fun to be invited to specialty things because of mentions in my stories. For instance, this summer I was invited to the Glasco Rhubarb Festival because my first two books have five stories concerning my character, Bird, and his pursuit of rhubarb pie.
Now I find I have written the most popular short story I have posted to AD according to the statistical counter, Oswald K. Underfoot Finds A Firefight Treasure. It is in Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry:Just Folks Three, my new book.
6-Mile Roots Publishing 1469 260th Road Marion
Jerry W. Engler
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