Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Meet me at the Faribault library Thursday evening November 8, 2017


A snippet of the display I’ve created for the Local Authors Fair at Buckham Memorial Library.


TOMORROW EVENING (November 9) I join 13 Faribault area writers as we showcase the craft of writing at Buckham Memorial Library’s Local Author Fair.

I’m ready with a display of sample published works, educational hand-outs, free candy and a Minnesota anthology for you to buy. I have limited copies of Fine Lines, The Talking Stick, Volume 26 in which five of my works published this year.


Grab a mini candy bar from my table and get a bonus quote about the craft of writing.


The drop-in event on the second floor Great Hall features each writer at his/her own table. So simply circulate, meet the authors and engage in conversation. You have only one hour, from 6 – 7 p.m., to meet everyone.

Here’s a sample of my writing, an award-winning poem printed in 2014 in Symmetry, The Talking Stick, Volume 23, and published by The Jackpine Writers’ Bloc:


This auction barn in Montgomery inspired my poem, “Sunday Afternoon at the Auction Barn.” Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Sunday Afternoon at the Auction Barn


Shoulder brushes shoulder as bidders settle onto plank benches

in the tightness of the arched roof auction barn,

oil stains shadowing the cement floor below their soles,

where a farmer once greased wheel bearings on his Case tractor.


The auctioneer chants in a steady cadence

that mesmerizes, sways the faithful fellowship

to raise hands, nod heads, tip bidding cards

in reverent respect of an ancient rural liturgy.


Red Wing crock, cane back rocker, a Jacob’s ladder quilt,

Aunt Mary’s treasured steamer trunk, weathered oars—

goods of yesteryear coveted by those who commune here,

sipping steaming black coffee from Styrofoam cups.


Find me, introduce yourself and ask me about my passions—writing and/or photography—and hear my story.


© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “Meet me at the Faribault library Thursday evening”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    I haven’t been to a farm auction in a long time, and most that I’ve attended are outdoors in all sorts of weather. Still, people tend to huddle in the cold, holding those steaming cups of coffee,savoring a bit of warmth. There is some thing sacred about auctions I think. You’ve captured it perfectly in your prose.

    I wish I lived closer… this drop-in event would be a lot of fun.

    • Thank you, Lori. “Sacred” is precisely the message I wished to convey as noted in the words I selected for this poem. Writing it, I visualized the setting, the atmosphere, the entire scene, one familiar to you and to me. But you’re right, the outdoor auctions are the most familiar.

  2. Bernadette Says:

    I love the poem; it brings back memories of selling our 4-H pigs at the fair livestock auction. Great idea to give people food for thought along with their sweet treat. Your creativity shines as always!

  3. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    I still avidly read your every post (sorry I haven’t been able to make replies lately). I discover more points of interest with each post. I enjoy every reference to Case, Massey, Allis Chalmers, etc. as I remember my Grandpa and his devotion to his tractor and the very pointed arguments he had with other local farmers outside the church doors after the Sunday morning service. Tractors, cattle breeds, fencing – you name it – each man seemed to have his favorites. And your basket of candy bar bribes is resonating right now (or maybe it was the growls from my stomach).

  4. hotlyspiced Says:

    Oh wow! I wish I could be there. What a wonderful event. Good luck to you, Audrey, I hope there’s a huge turnout. That’s a wonderful poem. And is that a recent photo of the book barn? Is it really snowing already??? xx

    • Charlie, I took that photo several years ago in the heart of winter.

      But to answer, your question, yes, snow has already fallen in parts of Minnesota, primarily to the north and west. This morning our temp dipped to around 20 degrees. With the windchill, the temp actually feels like 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter has arrived way too early for me.

  5. Susan Ready Says:

    wished I could have attended as just my kind of event and writing comments pasted on chocolate bars certainly is an incentive for folks to stop and visit with you. Hope it was fun!~

  6. Valerie Says:

    Sounds like a fun event. I’m sorry I had to miss it. I hope it went well.

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I’m sorry I missed this. I wish that we lived closer to each other

  8. I wish I could have been there! Would have loved the opportunity to meet you.

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