Narrative Map

The Great Lakes region is home to country and coastline, cities and hitching posts, sea glass and Petoskey stones, sex trafficking and opioids. Regionally, it is a rainforest of diversity capable of transcending its natural geography through the written word.

If you want to sample that diversity through our Narrative Map Project, here’s how. First, read from the selection of short narrative map essays. Each essay is written about a place in the Great Lakes region.

Then, when you find an essay you like, take a walk with it. Locate on the Google map (see below) the place discussed in the essay. Learn more about that location. Learn about the people and history there. Perhaps you’ll find a new place to vacation or a new inspiration for a poem or piece of fiction. Or just learn a little more about the Great Lakes and take it with you.

Narrative Map Project / Nonfiction

Going to the Lake

I’ve learned that Shetek means pelican in Ojibwe, just as I’ve learned that “going to the lake” for many Minnesotans involves a drive north, a…

Narrative Map Project / Nonfiction

Summer Harbor

Even from 35,000 feet, I can spot it, the sandy sweep of Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, then a little dimple carved into the giant expanse…

Narrative Map Project / Nonfiction

County Line and Lakeshore: Where Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Lake Michigan Meet

I look for them—my ancestors. I drive seventeen miles west along the county line between Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties, to where they had their farm,…