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Danny Wilcox Frazier

“Driftless is Frazier’s document about rural Iowa. His home. . . .Years of working, walking, photographing, carefully making notes, names, places. . . .

Passionate photographs without sentimentality. . . . his work reaches out: let me tell your story, it is important.

Frazier’s work will survive—his book will be the foundation for more to come. . . .”
Robert Frank

In Driftless: Photographs from Iowa, Danny Wilcox Frazier’s dramatic black-and-white photographs portray a changing Midwest of vanishing towns and transformed landscapes. As rural economies fail, people, resources, and services are migrating to the coasts and cities, as though the heart of America were being emptied. Frazier’s photographs take us into Iowa’s abandoned places and illuminate the lives of those people who stay behind and continue to live there: young people at leisure, fishermen on the Mississippi, veterans on Memorial Day, Amish women playing cards, as well as more recent arrivals: Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews at prayer, Latinos at work in the fields.

This collection of photographs is a portrait of contemporary rural Iowa, but it is also more that that. It shows what is happening in many rural and out-of-the-way communities all over the United States, where people find ways to get by in the wake of closing factories and the demise of family farms. Poetic and dark but illuminated with flashes of insight, Frazier’s remarkable images evoke the brilliance of Robert Frank’s The Americans.

Driftless was a New York Photo Award finalist for Best Photography Book of the year and was also selected for an exhibition of the year’s Best Photography Books curated by the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville. The book was featured in photo-eye, Photo District News, and Duke magazine, and Mother Jones ran a major feature of Frazier’s Driftless photographs (“American Heartland”) in its March/April issue. A photograph from the book also appeared in the Times Literary Supplement.

Danny Wilcox Frazier talks about Driftless at his book launch

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To read reviews of Driftless: Photographs from Iowa, visit PRESS

Driftless: Photographs from Iowa by Danny Wilcox Frazier
Published by Duke University Press and the Center for Documentary Studies
2007 | 128 pages | 9.25 x 12.25 | 80 duotone photographs
ISBN 978-0-8223-4145-1 | cloth $39.95

Available at bookstores or from Duke University Press

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