The relationship between writing and living is explored in this collection of letters, poems, photographs, and reminiscences from people who knew Lorine Niedecker personally. Niedecker's acclaimed poems are distinguished by a fierce style that earned her work comparison to that of Emily Dickinson and William Carlos Williams. Revelations about her roles as the daughter of a Wisconsin carp fisherman and as a hospital cleaning woman offer insight into how Niedecker became a quintessential poet of place. Critical questions are discussed about the creative process reflected in Niedecker's writings, including "What can we achieve through writing?" "How are we affected by where we live?" and "Who inspires us?"