Illinois Authors

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Dave Hoekstra

Born: 1955
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Hoekstra grew up in Naperville and now resides in Chicago.

Biography: Dave Hoekstra is a Chicago author-journalist. He was a columnist-critic at the Chicago Sun-Times from 1985 through 2014, where he won 2013 Studs Terkel Community Media Award. He has contributed pieces to Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader and Playboy Magazine. Dave wrote and co-produced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special “The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement,” nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for Outstanding achievement for a Documentary Program—Cultural Significance. He also wrote and produced the full-length documentary “The Center of Nowhere (The Spirit and Sounds of Springfield, Mo.)” that made its world premiere in 2018 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and is available on Amazon, Comcast, Vimeo and other services.

  • Dave was honored at the 2005 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.
  • Studs Terkel Community Media Award, 2013

Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Beacons in the Darkness: Hope and Transformation Among America’s Community Newspapers Paperback
ISBN: 1572843160 OCLC:

Agate Midway 2022

Community journalism has long been a part of the lifeblood of America, but never have the stakes been so high for the people behind it. In Beacons in the Darkness, award-winning journalist Dave Hoekstra interviews the people trying to keep the lights on at community newspapers across the country amid buyouts, declining revenues, fake news, and a pandemic. This book is not another account of the death of local journalism—but rather a celebration of the community ties, perseverance, and empathy that’s demonstrated in community newsrooms from Hillsboro, Illinois, to Charleston, South Carolina, to Marfa, Texas. Hoekstra recounts the sometimes-scandalous but always-industrious stories of the families who built these newspapers and passed them down through generations. Modern publishers and owners describe in their own words their struggles and experiments to stay alive in the digital age, not just for their businesses and their families but also for the communities they serve and the neighbors whose stories they tell in their reporting. Beacons in the Darkness provides an intimate view inside the organizations that still publish photos of the local bowling league and the outlandishly large mushrooms on the edge of town, leaving you with a rekindled fondness for your own community paper—and a renewed appreciation of what we all stand to lose without one.

Country music stars :
ISBN: 156173697X OCLC: 27020663

Publications International, Lincolnville, Ill. : ©1992.

Profiles of 79 important country singers whose careers account for eight decades of recordings and performances.

Disco Demolition :
ISBN: 1940430755 OCLC: 920019029

A illustrated collection of essays and interviews about the

Farm Aid :
ISBN: 1594862850 OCLC: 60705512

Rodale, [Emmaus, Pa.] : ©2005.

A celebration of Farm Aid's 20th anniversary-a beautifully designed treasure documenting the struggles and contributions of family farmers in America and the more than 200 American artists who have played on the Farm Aid stage. When Willie Nelson organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, he hoped it would be a one-time event that would ensure the continued survival of the national treasure upon which our country was founded: the independent family farmer. But two decades later, the nation is still losing an average of 330 family farms per week. And the annual Farm Aid concert, which has helped to raise more than $26 million to keep family farmers on their land, is now the longest running benefit concert in history. To commemorate this landmark and to call renewed attention to the importance of where, how, and by whom our food is produced, Farm Aid has put together this volume. Essays, interviews, poems, song lyrics, and fictional excerpts mix with more than 200 color and black-and-white photographs, including shots of farmland and farmers, as well as never-before-seen pictures of Farm Aid performers, from the late Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison to Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. Among the many contributors are writers Eric Schlosser and Howard Zinn; performers Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris; photographers Paul Natkin and Ebet Roberts; and Farm Aid board members Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, and Willie Nelson. [from publisher description].

The camper book :
ISBN: 161373820X OCLC: 1005192619

The people's place :
ISBN: 1613730594 OCLC: 904800969

Dave Hoekstra travels, tastes, and talks his way through twenty of America's best, liveliest, and most historically significant soul food restauƯrants. Following the

The supper club book :
ISBN: 1613743688 OCLC: 843202505

The phenomenon of the supper club--as unique to the Upper Midwest as great lakes, cheese curds, and Curly Lambeau--is explored for the first time in this attractive and engaging book. Revealing the rich history behind these time-honored establishments, it defines the experience for the uninitiated and reacquaints those in the know with a cherished institution. Painstakingly researched, the book documents modern supper clubs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and Illinois, bringing to life the memorable people who created the tradition and keep it alive. It goes on to explain how combining contemporary ideas such as locavore menus and craft beer with staples like Friday night fish fries and Saturday prime rib has allowed the clubs to evolve over time and thrive. With numerous photographs, this combination social history and travel guide celebrates not only the past and present but the future of the supper clubs.

The unofficial guide to Chicago /
ISBN: 0470042079 OCLC: 123086071

John Wiley, Chichester : 2007.

Five Great Features and Benefits offered ONLY by The Unofficial Guide: Information that's candid, critical, and totally objective ; Hotels reviewed and ranked for value and quality--plus secrets for getting the lowest possible rate ; More than 70 restaurants reviewed and profiled, with listings for dozens more ; A complete guide to Chicago's sights--museums, architecture, ethnic neighborhoods, and more ; The inside story on shopping--where to get the best for less, on and off the Magnificent Mile.

Ticket to everywhere :
ISBN: 1893121119 OCLC: 45769062

Lake Claremont Press, Chicago : 2000.