Reviews of the Anthology

Hi everyone! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope that all of your December holidays went well and I hope that you’re enjoying this mild winter (if you live in Ithaca, that is. If you live anywhere else, I hope that you’re enjoying the local weather!). I just wanted to share some of the positive reviews that From the Finger Lakes: A Prose Anthology has received.

The first review was published in the November 9th issue of Tompkins Weekly:

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Wrolstad perfectly encapsules the whole point of the anthology, which is to celebrate the Finger Lakes region and all of the amazing writers that have spent a significant part of their lives here.

There is also a review in the 2016 January/February issue of Cornell Alumni Magazine:

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While this review focuses on Cornell alumni and professors (which makes sense), it does show the high level of writing showcased in the book. Everyone can say just how sophisticated the writing is, but the fact that the magazine for Cornell alums gives the anthology a nice review shows that what everyone saying is true.

The final review that I wanted to showcase is one that was published in the January 27, 2016 issue of the Ithaca TimesIt’s a full page, so it’s too big to post here, but again, that shows how much the reviewer enjoyed the text. He does point out a couple of issues with some of the authors that the editors chose to include in the text, but even still, the review is a positive one.

So now I’ve proven that I’m not the only person who enjoys From the Finger Lakes: A Prose Anthology! I hope that I’ve convinced you to give the book a chance. And don’t worry, there is other blog content coming!

Counting Down to the Holidays

As I’m sure you all know, Christmas is quickly approaching, and we’re even in the midst of Hanukkah at this very moment!


I’m sure you’re all shopping for gifts or at least thinking about it, and of course, because From the Finger Lakes has just been published, we think that it would make a great gift for a lot of people.

Here’s a list of reasons why:

  1. It features a ton of amazing writing. Even if you loved or hated reading growing up, or you don’t make an effort to read now, all of the pieces in this anthology are enjoyable, relatable, and moving.
  2. Plus, because it’s an anthology, each piece in it is only three to ten pages long. You can read as much or as little as you want at a time.
  3. It introduces people to the Finger Lakes area. Granted, it’s not a very touristy area, and I don’t think that it draws an exorbitant amount of visitors, but if someone is considering moving here or attending Cornell University or Ithaca College, From the Finger Lakes gives the reader a different perspective of the area than if he or she had visited a few times.
  4. There will be a poetry companion anthology soon. (Watch for the call for submissions!) Why not get a start on completing your collection?
  5. You’ll be supporting a small press when you buy it. Literally the only people behind Cayuga Lake Books are Edward Hower, Peter Fortunato, Jack Hopper, Rhian Ellis, and me. And I barely count because I’m the intern––all four of these people have spent hours and hours putting this book together, and it always feels good to see that all of your hard work has been successful.
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I sincerely hope that you consider buying From the Finger Lakes as a gift this holiday season. I know I’m pushing it pretty hard, but frankly, that’s my job, and nothing that I wrote above is false. I truly believe that the anthology would make a great gift for anyone who is interested in the area or just likes to read.

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Happy holidays, everyone!

Carol Kammen

Carol Kammen is the Tompkins County Historian. She is the author of Glorious to View, Part & Apart, and First Person Cornell, and she’s written essays for The Ithaca Journal since 1978. She has also taught at Ithaca High School, TC3, and Cornell University.

Carol Kammen (Jason Koski Cornell University Photography)

  1. What made you want to publish in the anthology?  

Jack Hopper, one of the editors, asked me if I would write something for the anthology.

  1. What made you want to submit this piece in particular?

I have thought a great deal about this area and about regionalism and about the arbitrary lines on the land that often turn out to be actual demarcations. I don’t mean rivers, which are physical boundaries, but rather how entering New York from Ohio we really do enter a different space, or going from New York into Pennsylvania, the land and the signs, the culture seen, the architecture is different. As it is different from what is now called Leatherstocking country over near Lake Otsego  and here: different origins, different spacing on the land. I like the distinctiveness of place.

  1. You’ve created the “One Day in Ithaca” write-in event, which you ran in 1988 and again in 2013. How much do you feel that Ithaca has changed in those 25 years?

We all can see the changes. Some are very positive, some not so much so. For many years, Ithacans talked about how to span the Inlet and now, after years of discussions, some disputes, many permissions and funding sought and gained, we have bridges that make the crossing easy. The area used to be called The Octopus, a word not much heard anymore. There are many changes but what the two studies showed, from 1988 and 2013 is that many people love this area and even if they leave they find a way to return; then there are many of us who come and do not leave.

  1. What made you want to study the history of Tompkins County? Are there any central issues your research focuses on?

I have always been interested in discovering the people left out of history, so I have studied women of the past, people who come from various ethnicities and how those ethnic ties are kept going and what remains, the history of African Americans. This is not to discount the standard figures in history, the healthy, wealthy and wise, but to see who else is in the picture.

  1. When did you start writing? What were your first writings like?

I have been writing essays for the Ithaca Journal since 1977.

  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to walk and to take drives through the area.

  1. How can readers learn more about you? Do you have any social media accounts?

No media accounts, except for the Historian’s Page on the Tompkins County Website.

Many thanks!