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IHS Press Publishes Memoir from Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf

September 20, 2023

In the latest book from the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) Press, “Homecomings: A Writer’s Memoir,” former Indiana poet laureate Norbert Krapf tells the ongoing story of his experiences and development as a writer of poetry and prose.

Krapf was born in Jasper, Ind., in 1943, and “Homecomings” covers more than 50 years of his writing and publishing life. This includes stories about the editing and annotating of pioneer German journals and letters from his native Dubois County in southern Indiana to the translating of legends set in his ancestral Franconia in northern Bavaria.

Collaborating with photographers and musicians, jazz pianist and composer Monika Herzig, and bluesman Gordon Bonham, became part of Krapf’s work as a writer, as did confronting the abuse in his past, in both poetry and prose as seen in various sections of his memoir.

In his book foreword, Krapf said, “I have written almost half of this book in the last ten years or so, in my sixties and seventies, with the perspective of one who has long lived away from the community in which he grew up and has written extensively about three years living in Germany and England, and now nearing his late seventies, has been looking back and viewing things from a larger, longer perspective. As Indiana poet laureate from 2008 to 2010, I stressed collaborations and reuniting song and poetry. In making this book, older writer Norbert collaborated with Norbert the younger writer to tell their whole story. The elder did some revising of his younger, as well as his current self, without changing the story.” Krapf said he also enjoyed paying tribute in the memoir to writers, teachers and mentors who influenced and furthered his development.

“Homecomings is the record of a poet, teacher and critic meditating with deep love and profound insight into the writers, the places and the questions that have shaped his work,” said author Susan Neville. “Essential reading for anyone familiar with Krapf’s poetry, it is also a book for those interested in how a poem works and how an artist chooses and maintains a life-long passion for craft and for the truth that art reveals.”

“Homecomings: A Writer’s Memoir” is available through IHS’s Basile History Market and other places books are sold. For more information about the book or the IHS Press, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

About the Author

Norbert Krapf, Indiana poet laureate from 2008 to 2010, was born in 1943 in Jasper, Ind., a German-Catholic town in southern Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph College in 1965 and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in English from the University of Notre Dame. He taught at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, where he directed the C.W. Post Poetry Center. He has frequently contributed to Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History and has previously published a book with the Indiana Historical Society Press, The Ripest Moments: A Southern Indiana Childhood, a memoir of his youth in Jasper.


Title:                            Homecomings: A Writer’s Memoir

Publisher:                    Indiana Historical Society Press

Pages:                         336

Size:                            6 x 9

Cover:                         Paperback

Publication Date:        September 2023

Cost:                            $24.95

Print ISBN:                  978-087195-475-6

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