Recently received word that I’ve been named the 2013 Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence and will spend a few weeks this spring living and working here, at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.
Though Sandburg is often associated with Chicago and the midwest, he acquired a property in western NC (called Connemara) in the 1940s. He lived there with his wife Lilian Steichen Sandburg until his death in 1967, when the house became a unit of the National Park Service. The park’s historical and cultural resources include 264 acres of pastures, ponds, small mountains, and hiking trails as well as a total of 50 structures, including the Sandburg’s residence and goat barn.
Interestingly, I mentioned the Sandburg Home National Historic Site in passing back in 2008 or 09, long before I knew about the writer-in-residence program there:
… Carl Sandburg’s House, where I was most impressed by the fact that they raised goats, which seems in many ways a more sensible (and lucrative) profession than writing)…
There are still goats, descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s champion herd! I’ll be living within sight of the barn.
The Sandburg Home website mentions that he and his wife dreamed of having a “shack in the woods with a roof, four walls, three chairs (one for company), a hat rack, a bread box, and a bowl for wild flowers and a coffeepot.”
I like it that their dreams specified a bowl for wild flowers along with a roof, four walls, and three chairs. I also like this photograph of the two of them very much.
“It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, ‘Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?’…If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time-the stuff of life”
– Carl Sandburg