The Ozarks mountain town of West Plains, Mo., is the kind of town where a person can stand in his front yard and have a comfortable view of his past.
"My mom was actually born about 150 or 200 feet that way, and my grandfather's house is I guess 200 yards that way," says Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone, and most recently, The Maid's Version.
Typically, 21st century writers fall into two technical categories: Mac or PC. But poet Henry Goldkamp would much rather use a typewriter. He's the sole owner of a mobile poetry business, and for the past three years, he's spent his weekends traveling St. Louis, banging out short poems, on the spot, for anyone who stops by his table.
St. Louis is about to get something it hasn't had in 152 years: control of its own police force.
Thanks to a statewide ballot measure approved last fall, Missouri officially hands over the keys to the squad cars on Sunday.
It's only right for the city, which spends $180 million annually on cops, to take command, says Maggie Crane, director of communications for Mayor Francis Slay. "This is really just an antiquated system that needed to be changed," she says.
"I didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. I did this to be funny. I did it to be a joke," says Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown behind a skit at the Missouri State Fair earlier this month that sparked outrage when a masked "President Obama" was chased by a bull that Gessling said was "gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!"