The History & Literature of Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls has a wonderful literary heritage, and we are fortunate that it has already been researched and written about by Maggie Moss, as part of a 2012 class project at UNI.

print screen of UNI website

“The city of Cedar Falls makes for an idyllic setting. Writers Bess Streeter Aldrich, Ruth Suckow, James Hearst, and Nancy Price have used Cedar Falls as the setting for their works. Bess Streeter Aldrich based her Song of Years (1938) on the history of her pioneer grandfather, Zimri Streeter, who settled in Cedar Falls.[9] The main character in Miss Bishop (1933) is thought to be based on a professor from the University.[10] In the beginning of A Lantern in Her Hand (1928), Bess Streeter Aldrich uses Cedar Falls as the setting.[11] Ruth Suckow set all fictional stories in Iowa and was respected for the use of “regional realism.”[12] Renowned poet, James Hearst, spent his life in Cedar Falls writing poetry about Iowa farm life. He was known as “the Robert Frost of the Midwest,” for his use of the Midwestern landscape in his poetry. [13] Nancy Price set her best-selling novel Sleeping with the Enemy (1987) in Cedar Falls.[14] Robert Waller set Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend (1993) in the town, as well.[15] Cedar Falls has been used as a setting for novels and poetry, by its resident authors.”

Page developed by Maggie Moss, 2012 as part of a class taught by Dr. Thomas Connor, Dept. of History, UNI

Last Updated March 5, 2021

Cherie Dargan, Webmaster